Master of Science (MS)
Semester of Degree Completion
Amber M. Shipherd
In the United States, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has become the focal point for college recruiters in searching for top talent amongst middle and high school basketball athletes. Financially, AAU basketball can be expensive, making it difficult for families to allow their children to compete. However, players feel that AAU participation is worth the investment because of the benefits, which includes collegiate exposure. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of former AAU basketball players' experience. The research question used to guide this study was: what are former AAU basketball players' perceptions of academic requirements, time/money, basketball skills/development, and the opportunity to play college basketball? The participants in this study were men and women ages 18-35 years old. Participant's eligibility was determined based on their participation as an athlete in AAU basketball. Using the survey software Qualtrics, participants were provided a link via email, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and through wireless phone text messaging. The findings of this study of twenty-four former AAU basketball players provided insight into players' perceptions of academic requirements, time/money, basketball skills/development, and the opportunity to play college basketball. The former AAU basketball players in this study believed that although AAU basketball does not require any academic standards at this time, academic requirements such as a minimal grade point average should be required for participation. The former players felt that if academic requirements were enforced in AAU basketball, participation would not decrease. They also felt that AAU is expensive, but worth the investment because of the number of games that AAU provides. They also believed that AAU basketball does not improve knowledge about basketball or how to be a better teammate. They did feel that AAU participation does give an athlete the best chance to receive a college scholarship and that athletes only play AAU for collegiate exposure. Despite the expenses to participate versus the amount of games played in AAU basketball, it was concluded that the AAU only provides athletes exposure to collegiate scholarships however, academic requirements should be, but are not required to participate in AAU basketball.
Willis, Hakeem R., "AAU Basketball - Participants' Perceptions of Their AAU Experience" (2016). Masters Theses. 2479.