Missouri Division I basketball coaches aim to offer potential students, coaches leadership advice | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Division I basketball coaches aim to offer potential students, coaches leadership advice

Aug 23, 2018

College basketball coaches from across Missouri are coming together to discuss the importance of leadership and how they recruit incoming student athletes, just in time for the new school year.

These issues are among several topics that will be discussed at the first annual Coaches Luncheon on Aug. 27, where regional NCAA Division I basketball coaches will  discuss the issues and strengths they see in both students and coaches.

“A lot of my success here as executive director I got learning from coaching and from playing,” said Marcus Wilson, the executive director of the Monsanto Family YMCA, which organized the event. “I’m interested in asking these guys, ‘Who influenced you? What are some of the qualities that you steal from others to make you a better leader when you’re leading your organization?’”

Proceeds from the event will support the Monsanto Family YMCA. Ticket sales end Sunday.

Marcus Wilson, the executive director for the Monsanto YMCA, gathers with players in their prayer circle. On Saturdays, Wilson allows players to play basketball for free to provide the players a safe space away from violence.
Credit Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

All five Missouri Division I basketball coaches are planning to attend the event:

  • Travis Ford, Saint Louis University
  • Kareem Richardson, University of Missouri - Kansas City
  • Cuonzo Martin, University of Missouri
  • Rick Ray, Southeast Missouri State University
  • Dana Ford, Missouri State University

“In today’s age I see a lot of youth who have big dreams. They have a million-dollar dream but with a minimum wage work ethic,” Wilson said. “Hard work and being consistent at that hard work is something that I think is lacking.”

The concerns match a study published in Athletic Insight. The study found that college athletes face more stressors than non-athletic students. The study also referred to findings that show college athletes often face stressors related to transitioning to college.

NCAA recruitment facts: 

  • There are more than 490,000 NCAA student athletes around the country
  • About 180,000 attend Division I schools: About 350 colleges and universities
  • 59 percent of all student-athletes receive some level of athletics aid
  • 2017 graduation success rate: 87 percent 

“When you’re recruiting students, it’s all about them,” said Kareem Richardson, the head coach of the UMKC Kangaroos. “When they get on campus, you change all of those I’s to we and it’s all about team and sometimes that can be a shell shock.”

The Coaches Luncheon will include all five Division I NCAA coaches from Missouri to discuss their leadership traits, the leadership traits they search for in students and the issues they see with incoming students balancing college and athletics.
Credit Monsanto Family YMCA

Wilson said the issues of acclimating to college also relate to motivating freshmen to attend classes.

“The hardest transition is not having a teacher saying, ‘Why aren't you there?’ or not having a coach saying ‘Why aren’t you there?’ The coaches are saying you need to get in the gym and work on your game and they aren’t going to walk you through it all the time.”

If you go:

  • When: Monday, Aug. 27
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Where: O'Fallon Park Rec Complex, 4343 W. Florissant Ave.

Follow Chad on Twitter @iamcdavis