European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

What you should know about finding a Prep School – Part 1

After 25 years of coaching at the high school, AAU and prep school level as well as guiding players to prep schools, colleges and professional careers I can tell you that prep school is absolutely the best way for players to get ready for college. For European players prep school is more popular than ever. Still, most players (American and European) and their parents do not know how to go about the process of finding one. Here’s what you should know.

Start the process early! This is the most important thing and it is where most players fail. If at all possible start the process 12 – 15 months before you expect to start school. It’s not impossible to go through the process in less time than that but the chances of you finding what you want increase dramatically if you start early. This is especially true for the financial aid part of the process.

Your goal should be to have the application complete by January 1 of the year you want to attend prep school. So, if you want to attend prep school starting in September of 2012 you should have everything submitted by January 1 of 2012.

Here’s a list of the important steps along with an estimate of the amount of time needed for each (in parentheses).

  1. Sign up and study for SAT or SSAT * (1-6 months)
  2. Take the SAT or SSAT and receive your scores (1-3 months)
  3. Take the TOEFL (2 months)
  4. Get an electronic copy of your transcript that you can e-mail to coaches (2-4 weeks)
  5. Fill out financial aid forms (1 month)
  6. Research/communicate with coaches and schools to find out which ones you like best and which ones have an interest in you (2-4 months)
  7. Send video to coaches (2 months; add more if you don’t already have the video made) **
  8. Fill out applications (1-2 months)
  9. Hand out teacher recommendations and have them sent in (2 months)
  10. Visit schools in person (optional) (2-4 months)

* Taking the SAT and the TOEFL is a must! Without these tests results you will have far fewer school choices. The choices you will have will be much weaker academic schools. Any school that will take you without these is not a serious school. If you are willing to go to a school without these you are not serious about the academic part of prep school. Worse, you are risking a very bad situation where you are in a foreign country and unhappy with little chance to achieve your goals.

** With the availability of YouTube, digital phones and cameras there is no reason you can’t have some video of yourself on the internet that coaches can see immediately. At the very least post a highlight video of yourself. If you can, post an entire game or two or at least have them on a disk that you can send to coaches when they request it. Video is so easy to do these days if you don’t have one coaches won’t take you seriously or will think you are hiding something.

If you have questions or want to know more e-mail me at

This article has been written by Mike Stone

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