Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 08, 2011 7:20 AM

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Player transfers are part of basketball fabric

Another men’s basketball player is leaving Iowa. While this is not good, it’s also not surprising.

Basketball has grown into a game that promotes “I” players rather than “we” players in the past 10 to 15 years. Look no further than the Amateur Athletic Union circuit to find your answer to why this is happening to the great game of basketball. AAU promotes developing a player’s individual game by playing spring and summer ball in tournaments with teammates with whom they have no real connection. The players they run up and down the court with don’t go to their school; hell, they might not even be from the same state. In AAU ball, it’s every player for himself. The players who score lots of points get the basketball coaches around the country beating a path to their doors.

There is nothing wrong with scoring points, but where is the reward for setting screens, making the extra pass, and playing defense with all your heart? Don’t look too hard for these selfless acts in an AAU game, because there is very little reward for doing them.

The players who decide to transfer have been taught to worry about themselves more than their team from a very young age. What should we expect when something doesn’t go just right for a college player? Their teammates are easily forgotten, and their eye for the greener pasture will not be overcome by any sense of loyalty.

Ever wonder why college football teams with more than 105 players on the roster have relatively few transfers (excepting health dust-ups)? Maybe it’s because there are no AAU football teams to damage their sense of loyalty to and love for their teammates.

To any high-school player reading this rant: Keep on playing AAU ball, but remember that your high-school team is where your heart and soul should reside.

Dave Linder
UI alumnus

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