As you may or may not know, I have been away for the past two weeks on vacation with my family. The trip was great as I got to spend a lot of great time with my one and a half year old daughter building sand castles or “cakes” as she calls them on the beautiful beaches of Aruba. Now I am back and reality has set in as we continue to expand our services at Elite Basketball Training.
At the beginning of the summer, I expanded on Elite Basketball Training in order to include a recruiting service for all high school athletes looking to play any sport in college. The recruiting service called The Highlight Reel – Central Jersey, LLC is a franchise of the national recruiting service The Highlight Reel, Inc. which has been in existence for the last five years. Our services go above and beyond your average recruiting service as one of my local affiliates dubbed it, “A recruiting service on steroids.” The main goal of The Highlight Reel is to simplify the often hectic recruiting process for all parties involved while ensuring that the student athlete uses their talents to obtain a college degree. This notion was clearly illustrated in the article below which hit the papers just before I left.
Recruiting service aids athletes and parents alike
In case you haven’t heard, Metuchen might just be one of the best-kept secrets in the high school basketball world. In the not too distant past, Jayson Williams, a graduate of St. Joseph, was the high school basketball player of the year before leading Duke University to the national championship in 2001. Fellow St. Joseph alumnus Andrew Bynum won his second NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers this spring, and Metuchen High graduate Marqus Blakely inked a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this month after a stellar career at University of Vermont.
While St. Joe’s has always been a desirable post for high school basketball coaches, the less prestigious post at Metuchen has been held by one of the brightest minds in local hoops, Rich Stoner. Stoner has taken his talents and dedication to young athletes into the recruiting arena to form Highlight Reel of Central Jersey, a recruiting service for student athletes in all sports.
Highlight Reel of Central Jersey is a franchise of the nationwide outfit, Highlight Reel Inc. Highlight Reel’s services include four major components: financial planning, academic tutoring, college advising and studentathlete profiling.
“Highlight Reel isn’t just about the sports aspect,” Stoner said. “Most student-athletes fall into the category of Division III or lower Division I prospects. Not many students are going to have the chance of playing basketball for Duke or football for Ohio State. Most student-athletes and their parents are unfamiliarwith the recruiting process. Essentially, the students are in a pool of players that are all recruited for a small amount of spots. We want them to stand out and get the best deal possible.”
Highlight Reel staffs a lineup of financial advisers to assist families with financial planning and the submission of forms such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, the service offers online tutoring for both standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, but also for most subject areas in school such as algebra, biology, social studies, etc.
“The online tutoring program allows students to complete assignments at his or her own pace, but also to take responsibility for their own education,” Stoner said. “Services are offered for any class. We really push the academic aspect because we don’t just want to help families get athletic scholarships, but as much assistance as possible.”
The college advisory component of the Highlight Reel package offers, among other things, assistance with college application essays and transcript analyses. This component customizes college searches to fit the needs and wants of student-athletes, such as location, size, academic ranking and cost.
The student-athlete profile aspect of Highlight Reel’s services personalizes a studentathlete’s package to colleges and universities. Film clips of athletic events, letters of recommendation, test scores, newspaper clippings, and even bio films can be sent via a protected password to prospective universities and their athletic departments.
“We have access to every college coach’s contact information in the entire country,” Stoner said. “This component allows coaches to see a side of the student-athlete that might not come through on just a piece of paper. Currently, over 23,000 coaches use Highlight Reel services.”