How to Run an Unsigned Senior Basketball Showcase: Your Step-By-Step Guide to a Successful Event

How to do your own unsigned senior showcase for basketball players

You have a great idea. You want to host your own unsigned senior showcase for basketball players who are still looking to get signed. But where do you start first? Maybe this is going to be the first time you’ve done a basketball event of this size. Don’t worry, we have you covered in this article. All you need to do is follow our step by step guide. We will take you through the process from the very beginning, starting with what you need to do first, things you need to make sure you do and some extra little tips. Following these step will help your unsigned senior basketball showcase go well for everyone involved. The first year is always the toughest but, if you can make it a success, every following year you can improve and start establishing your event as one of the ‘go-to’ unsigned senior showcases for basketball players in the country.

STEP 1: Pick Your Location for Your Unsigned Senior Showcase

When selecting your location for your unsigned senior showcase, their are a few factors you need to consider when making your decision. You need to be close to an airport and major highways. You want your event to be as accessible as possible for both players and coaches to maximize your turn out. The cost of travel to your event and how easily accessible it is will factor into their decision of whether they will come to your showcase, or not.

If you’re planning on running a large event and need multiple courts, make sure the basketball courts are next to each other and in the same building so the college coaches don’t have to change location to see all the games. This way, you can get your players maximum exposure because the coaches don’t have to choose which games to attend. Make sure that the facility provides a scoreboard and shot clock for each court. Makes sure the basketball courts are all regulation size. Hardwood, spring load floors are the best and recommended for high performance and player safety. Check the changing room facilities and make sure they are of adequate size for your event.

Make sure that you get yourself a written contract with the facility. In the contract it should clearly detail the following: dates and times, areas used, details of facility access for your event (eg. cafeteria, lounge area etc.). Also, make sure the contract clearly states all costs associated with your basketball event so that you have no surprises.

TIP: Negotiate hard when it comes to the costs of your basketball event. Be polite but firm. Don’t be afraid to walk away and find a different location.

STEP 2: Pick a Date for Your Unsigned Senior Showcase

Now that you have found your facility to have your unsigned senior showcase, its time to decide on your dates. When considering dates you should make sure that they are during a NCAA live period so that NCAA Division 1 college coaches can be in attendance. Make sure you check the NCAA calendar for all the up to date live period information. CLICK HERE.

STEP 3: Get Your Staff Together for Your Unsigned Senior Showcase

Having the right staff involved at your event is very important. You want to have people who are going to be enthusiastic and excited about being involved. You might be able to get some people to volunteer for certain roles but we do recommend that your core staff members are going to be paid. Here is a list of the of the staff we wold recommend you get for your unsigned senior showcase. The size of your event will determine how many staff you have in each category. Here are the categories:

  • Basketball Coaches: These coaches will coach the games. We do not recommend trying to coach games in your own showcase.
  • Score Keepers: These staff members will keep the score and the clock for each game.
  • Video person: These staff members will record every basketball game
  • A Meet-and-Greet person for the College Coaches
  • A Meet-and-Greet person for the players and their families
  • Security: This depending on your venue, this could be provided by the venue.
  • Paramedic: For any serious injuries during the event. Depending on the venue, this could be provided by the venue.

Make sure you hire official referees. We recommend two referees for each game. We highly suggest having professional referees. Professional refs are going to keep the games under control. If you have inexperienced, amateur referees, they can quickly lose control of the game which will make for a bad experience for the players and coaches.

TIP: Make sure you have people who you can rely on and trust. 

STEP 4: Get Insurance For Your Unsigned Senior Basketball Showcase

You will need insurance coverage for your event. Make sure that once you have picked your location you contact multiple insurance companies for quotes.

STEP 5: Get Your Unsigned Senior Showcase Event NCAA Certified

If you want to attract the highest level players and have NCAA D1 coaches in the stands, then you have to get your event NCAA certified. The NCAA has strict rules in place. As a basketball event organizer you have to go through the NCAA Basketball Certification Process. By going through this process you agree to operate your unsigned senior showcase in accordance with the NCAA’s applicable legislation and certification requirements. When you get approved, you will receive an Event Certification. Having this event certification allows NCAA Division 1 coaches to attend and observe all the unsigned senior basketball players who you have at your event.

STEP 6: Order Your Gear for Coaches and Players for Your Unsigned Senior Showcase

Now that you have all the previous steps taken care of, you can turn your attention to the gear that you will provide for the players, coaches and staff. It is important to have good gear for your staff because it will give your event an organized and professional impression. Polo shirts are a very good option for this. When players and college coaches start showing up, they will be able to immediately identify the event staff members if they need any assistance. When ordering gear for the players make sure you choose a design and colors that clearly stand out to the college coaches watching. Our recommendation would be to choose high contrasting colors like black and white.

You should contact a few gear printing places so you can have a few quotes to compare price and quality. Don’t be afraid to look in other states too. Sometime you can find a great place that can do what you want for a good price including shipping costs. Give yourself plenty of time. In our experience, when you order the gear for players there are many proofs and revisions to go through before its how you want it, and ready for printing. Here is a checklist of the things you need to make sure before you approve an order for printing:

  • Is it the correct jersey style and material (make sure you choose reversible jerseys)
  • Is it the correct size font and font style (make sure you choose a size that is big enough to see when on the court from the sidelines)
  • Make sure the number is on both sides
  • Do you want a logo? (this will add to the cost)
  • Do you want to order shorts? (you will need to add the number to the shorts if you do)

STEP 7: Market to & Recruit Players to Attend Your Unsigned Senior Showcase Event

In order to get maximum attendance to your unsigned senior showcase, you are going to have to market hard. Now a days you have plenty of ways to contact players. You can use twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms you like. Use these platforms to create a marketing picture. This will be your online flyer so to speak. Or, if you prefer, you can can create a marketing image on your computer and upload it to the various social media sites. Another way., is it to contact high school coaches, AAU coaches and post grad coaches. There are also several websites online where you can post your event for players to find.

STEP 8: Contact Coaches to Attend Your Unsigned Senior Showcase

The key to running a successful unsigned senior showcase event, is to have coaches in attendance who are still recruiting. You need to start contacting college coaches several months ahead of your planned event. To maximize your effectiveness, make sure you only contact college coaches that are still recruiting players. It cannot be stressed enough … do no not leave this to the last minuet! College coaches will need to make travel arrangements etc. You will also want to get to them before they commit to something else.

STEP 9: Make Video Highlights For All Unsigned Senior Basketball Players Who Attended Your Event

At your unsigned senior showcase event, you should be filming all the games. Make sure you set up the camera person at half court, if possible. If you are somewhere with bleachers, have them situate the camera on the top row, center court. You want your camera person to video half-court-to-half court. This way, college coaches can see the full action going on, not just the player with the basketball. Make sure your cameras are fully charged. Charge them between games or at breaks if possible to avoid cameras dying. Bring an extension cord and locate the plugs ahead of time and if possible, have the camera plugged in while filming. You should use a camera stand to guarantee camera steadiness. This will also make the job easier for the camera person. Also, make sure you have big enough SD cards. You want to purchase SD cards with a large memory so that you can easily fit the games on with no problem.

STEP 10: Send Out Highlight Videos to Coaches Who Were Not Able to Attend Who Are Still Recruiting

Now is the time to make a highlight video for each player who attended your unsigned senior showcase. If you want to make a name for yourself, you are going to have to go above and beyond what other showcases do. This is also a great way to build more contacts with college coaches. This will help get more college coaches to your event the following year. Players families have made financial sacrifices for them to attend your unsigned senior showcase. Make the extra effort for them and lets get these players signed!

STEP 11: Follow Up With Players & Coaches Who Attended Your Unsigned Senior Showcase

Now that you have your first year under your belt, you will want to follow up with all players and coaches who attend your unsigned senior showcase. Following up with players is a great way to get feedback about your showcase. They will let you know their likes and dislikes so you can improve the showcase for the following year. You will also want to check with player to see if they have been signed by a school after attending your unsigned senior showcase. This will be crucial for marketing your showcase for the following year. This will be the first question players will ask you. You also need to follow up with college coaches to get feedback from them to see what ways you can improve your showcase. Like the players, you will get their likes, dislikes and if your lucky, some recommendations too. When contacting the college coaches, you should also take this opportunity to ask them if they signed any player(s) from the showcase.