2020 Provides Recruiting Challenges for Summer Travel Coaches, Too

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PEOIRA, Ill. (WMBD) — A couple of weeks ago, Gavin Sullivan was in a garage sorting new uniforms for his Midwest Prospects Academy teams.

But his AAU team had its April scheduled canceled and he can only hold out hope for tournaments this summer.

“I think everyone in our business is hoping we’ll at least have July,” Sullivan said. “When you’re dealing with 300 kids in the program this year, it’s a lot of kids to worry about and try to figure out what they’re going to do.”

Sullivan’s job is to get his basketball players noticed by college coaches. He co-directs his new team, which is a combination of the former Illinois Irish and Quad City Elite programs. Players from a two-hour radius of Peoria make up the Mid-Pro rosters.

He thinks fewer AAU tournaments this year mean fewer scholarship offers from players outside of big cities like Chicago.

“It makes it harder to get recruited without live events into the summertime. It puts guys and girls down here behind the 8-ball a little more than in the big cities,” said Sullivan.

Wednesday, the NCAA extended its “dead recruiting period” to May 31. That means no recruiting, on or off campus, for college coaches until June.

With no campus visits on the horizon, Sullivan says players will have to take the initiative to get recruiters’ attention. Without games, coaches may go months without seeing some of these potential recruits.

“For the kids, it will be self-driven. Can you put a highlight tape together? Can high school coaches help you get film out to these guys,” Sullivan said. “We try to (help) as much as we can.”

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