Preparing College Bound Students - Origins of Reaching Higher

Because of special rules to limit coaches' compensation, national travel and live television, it is less apparent in Michigan than in some other parts of the country; but there is widespread opinion that amateur basketball is out of control in America. That it's in shambles, operating almost entirely outside of school/college control, but in the hands of corporate interests and unregulated agents. There is a sense that the sickness of boys and men's basketball is infecting the purer women's game as well as lower profile sports. There are predictions that the disease will soon spread to football.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has repositioned state high school associations toward leadership in improving the environment of amateur basketball to help restore integrity to the college game and to the recruitment of high school players.

While the elite athlete will never become the most central focus of high school athletic administration in Michigan, there is some danger that the corruption of the college recruiting process in basketball is spreading to other sports and settling to younger and younger athletes each year. Preserving the health and integrity of interscholastic athletics generally may require this proactive approach to this special population of players.

To that end, the MHSAA began its journey in assisting those athletes aspiring to play beyond high school with the inaugural boys and girls Reaching Higher Basketball Experiences in the Spring of 2009. The events were met with enthusiasm from participants, coaches, officials and administrators. Information for those events can be found below.

Please refer to this page frequently for new additions to the MHSAA's Reaching Higher initiatives.

College Prep

The maze of eligibility requirements, admissions standards and recruiting regulations -- and how they vary from junior colleges to colleges and universities -- can be as daunting and intimidating as any opponent you've faced at your current grade level. To that end, we offer this section of the MHSAA Website as a springboard to your dreams of collegiate athletic participation.

The Next Level

You are a talented student-athlete whose hard work and dedication has led to a multitude of impressive honors and statistics along your high school journey. The Reaching Higher program is indeed geared to assist student-athletes in attaining the "Next Level", but it is important to temper aspirations of full-ride college scholarships and even professional athletic careers. For most, the "Next Level," will not include competitive athletics. Let the following statistics serve as both a warning and a guide as you prepare for the "Next Level" as a successful citizen rather than an athlete.

  • Nearly 550,000 boys and 450,000 girls play high school basketball nation-wide. Roughly 3% of all players of each gender will ever play at at NCAA institution.
  • From the above figures, .03% of boys and .02% of girls will ever earn a paycheck playing the game.
  • More than 1 million boys play high school football. Annually, just over 17,000 are afforded the chance to earn a scholarship as freshmen.
  • Of course, the above figures are contingent on achieving minimum grade standards for acceptance to an NCAA program.