It seems a little more accessible nowadays. In contrast, when I played AAU, near the beginning of the millennium, I was not much of a fan. I mean, I'm glad I did it, but the tryouts and practices were torturous, a lot of the coaches seemed really sketchy, no one came to your games, no one cared about the results, and the squads were all built like regional all-star teams so my role was not what it was when I'd go back to my school and play.
I look back now and I'm glad I opted to play AAU ball, and I know it helped my game, but it wasn't very pleasant to me at the time.
By no means is D-3 elite level basketball, but you don't make a D-3 team just because you really have a passion for the game. Talent isn't optional. If the guy can't make his HS varsity team as a senior, he's not going to be a collegiate level player the next year.
Ehh, coach wouldn't let me be a practice player, but he let me be e team manager. I guess it's cause it's my last year of high school and he felt sorry for me....
Anyways, he told me I would get to practice with the varsity team, and if someone has grade problems or is injured, I can play limited minutes in the games. I get my own jersey tho, and I chose 23.
Things aren't so bad I guess, but now I'm worried people are gonna shit on me and ridicule me cause I'm the manager
You know what, the exact same thing happened to me. Except, I was 5'4 and 105 lbs and Indian. I played JV as a junior and did okay. The coach of JV was kinda conservative and I was a full speed open court pg. Even though I was much much better than the other pg he played us both about the same amount of minutes because the coach preferred slowing down the game.
When we had our annual JV vs. Varsity game I busted the varsity for 27 points on 7 threes etc. The varsity coach guaranteed me a starting spot as a senior.
Then, he got into an argument later that year with the administration and got fired. In came a new coach. I knew I was screwed. Even at the open gyms before the tryouts he always kept talking to this one tall skinny (6'5) white guy that played volleyball (could dunk easily) to try to convince him to join the team. He barely even acknowledged me.
Tryout happened. I did okay, but the tryouts weren't really about any sort of game skills. Just drills like dribbling, man to man etc. I did as well as anyone, but it is hard to show my true game management, and point guard abilities on those drills.
Anyways, I still didn't expect to get cut. I've never not been one of the best players at any level. Myself, and my best friend got cut. I was in shock. We went to his place and put on that Lincoln Park song, In the End, and just cried. We really didn't know what to do. We decided to go back to school that day to just shoot some jumpers and figure out what to do with our lives. Per the most random chance the coach was there and he was struggling to take the balls back to his car (two ball bags or something). We bit our lips, said how much we hate him to each other, but said eff it let's go help him. We went over to help him and he said, I know you guys played your hearts out and I appreciate your effort, even if you didn't make the cut. I could use some help this year, so do you guys want to stay on as managers, and practice players if we need them.
We almost cried as he said this since we've never been 'manager' level players or even really 'bench' players. But, it was our last year and we loved hoops. It was our life. We agreed. Practice started, and I usually outplayed the pg that made the team quite easily. The coach kept with him though. On the third game of the season the starting point guard severely got hurt and broke his wrist. I was asked to step in. I did, and we went on a 16 game winning streak. To this day, the longest of our school. We made the tourney, beat the team with Trent Edwards (now in the NFL), and the team with Brandon Worthy etc. We lost winning the end of the year tournament when our best player crumbled under pressure. Down 49-48 and he gets fouled with 1 second left. He misses both free throws. This guy was a Steph Curry type shooter the whole year. Set records in tres made etc. I'll never forgot the year though. It was incredible. I wrote my college entrance essay about one of our games.