How do you choose the right basketball exposure camps? How do you know the difference between the good ones and the bad ones? Consider the following criteria:
LOCATION — If the main purpose of the camp is to give the players exposure, the camp needs to be in a place where team representatives from all over the world are likely to visit. With the exception of the NBA Summer League, international coaches, scouts, and agents are generally not willing to fly overseas. Therefore, it’s logical to organize a basketball exposure camp at the same time and place as the NBA Summer League, meaning in Las Vegas or Orlando during the month of July. Players are advised to be wary of camps located elsewhere.
LAS VEGAS — As mentioned, Orlando and Las Vegas are the only logical locations for basketball exposure camps, and Las Vegas is superior to Orlando. Why? The Las Vegas Summer League is longer, bigger, and features better timing (late July). For these reasons, Las Vegas attracts about three times as many international visitors as opposed to Orlando. That’s why Court Side has its basketball exposure camp in Las Vegas every July.
WHO IS BEHIND THE CAMP? — Make sure the person or organization behind the camp is reputable. Many types of people can organize basketball exposure camps or claim to, but the people who can actually get players real results and real exposure are far fewer in number. Basketball showcases organized and ran by professional agents and/or agencies represent a player’s best bet for getting evaluated by an international audience and finding a job. Experienced agents are also best — by a wide margin — at the crucial follow-up and promotion of players before, during, and after camp.
LEVEL OF ORGANIZATION — It takes much more than a ball and a gym to organize basketball exposure camps. The organizers should be interested in genuine exposure for participating players rather than simply making money from player registrations. Only a superior level of professionalism and organization attracts the best international decision-makers from teams abroad. From hiring NCAA refs and a professional statistics crew to video recording, hotel reservations, measurement devices, transportation, and many other things, the best ran basketball exposure camps feature high expenses. In fact, expenses could be so high that the organizers lose money on the camp, but will accept a small loss if their main goal is to get exposure for the players. Agents accept this scenario because they are truly invested in their players and because agents believe they will recoup their investment through agent fees from deals made as a result of the camp. The same can not be said about poorly ran, poorly staffed camps.
TESTIMONIALS — Legitimate and effective basketball exposure camps often see the same players come back the next year. Personal testimonials are the best advertisement a camp can hope for. Do the camp organizers have a successful track record? Can they prove it? How many years have they organized the camp? Does the camp have a website with an archive of past camps, teams rosters, stats, etc.? Can they give you the contact information of players who participated in the camp in the past? Ask yourself these questions as you consider an exposure camp.