July is probably the most popular month of the summer season. During this month, not only does America celebrate its independence, but college basketball coaches have the independence to travel across the country and recruit student-athletes for their programs. On the flip side, July is an opportunity for student-athletes to showcase their talent and skills in hopes of catching the eyes of coaches and later receiving scholarship offers.
Garnering attention from coaches shouldn’t be a problem for the ladies of the Alabama Heat Elite. The Amateur Athletic Union basketball club consists of a ninth and tenth-grade team. The ninth-grade team is ranked No. 2 in Alabama, No. 17 in the nation and has players who already have scholarship offers.
Both teams are preparing to embark on a journey of showcases across the Southeast, beginning with the Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla., July 5. Steve Ward is the head coach of the freshman squad. As talented as the athletes are, he admits it can be challenging to get them to stay focused.
“It’s hard because they are still young and they’re still learning how to be consistent,” Ward says.