Special Guest: Jeremy Wright
NAIA schools are often overlooked and given the cold shoulder by athletes for bigger name schools. However, to any player or parent reading this, I hope you look into all of your choices before making the decision of committing to the school with the biggest name, and look for the school that gives you the best opportunity to grow and develop.
The NAIA is outside of the NCAA, and though the school’s part of the NAIA often has lower budgets than your traditional NCAA school, many still offer full scholarships to their athletes.
People often forget that there is really good talent among players at the NAIA level.
If you watched the Last Dance Documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, then you know that two of the Bulls star players were products of NAIA schools. Scottie Pippen started out as the team manager at Central Arkansas before joining the team as a walk-on and became a star, which led to him being the No. 5 pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. Dennis Rodman was an NAIA All-American standout at Southeastern Oklahoma State for three seasons before being drafted 27th in the NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.
The NAIA has a great platform to help players get recognized for their talents, as several showcases that are viewed by professional scouts are put on by the NAIA for the top teams each season. The NAIA is full of DI/DII transfers who are looking to get more development or get another chance of playing college basketball. Some NAIA schools are still sponsored by top-name brands and compete for national championships year in and year out.
The NAIA is a great path to build your game and get a good college basketball experience.