Basketball New Zealand’s preferred supplier of recruiting services for players who seek exposure in the US College system, Custom College Recruiting (CCR), has closed due to financial difficulties. 

The US based company worked with Basketball Federations around the world, across a number of sporting codes, to help young athletes into US College athlete-scholarships. CCR Founder, Shane Howard, sent Basketball New Zealand and a number of CCR’s clients an email yesterday announcing that their organisation would close.

CCR came to the attention of BBNZ through Australia where they were the preferred recruiting service for a number of Australian basketball organisations.  Basketball New Zealand did not have any commercial association with CCR as a supplier. Chief Executive, Iain Potter, says CCR provided a service to Kiwi players and families that had been of benefit to many young athletes.

“Our sympathies go out to the young athletes and families who signed up with CCR, had paid a fee and were relying on this service. For many young basketballers in this country, their goal is a free education through basketball so now, not only will they be financially put-out, they will also feel they have been left with less representation in the US and Canada. 

“We believe CCR did provide a great service during their four years of activity in New Zealand. We have heard only good things from many families who worked with CCR and are very sad to hear of CCR’s financial difficulties. Coach Howard and his staff are passionate operators and I’m sure they only wanted the very best for the young athletes on their books,” said Mr Potter this morning.  

Basketball New Zealand endorsed CCR as a preferred supplier as more young Kiwis were travelling to the US in search of College opportunities. Looking for opportunities abroad, without research and good advice, could see families and players travelling completely unprepared. Mr Potter says having a knowledgeable intermediary was very useful.

“You should know what to expect and who to work with, otherwise your trip might be expensive and you could come home without being any closer to your goals. If you are serious about getting exposure abroad in the hope of a college scholarship, it’s important you seek the right advice.

“There is a lot of misinformation in the community about scholarships and the U.S. basketball scene. There are people who claim they can offer exposure to scouts abroad by taking young kiwis to tournaments or camps in the US. But these can often be expensive and not provide real opportunities for a scholarship. Families can invest a lot to send their children on these trips and then get frustrated when they return none-the-wiser and without a scholarship offer.”

Mr Potter says CCRs absence does leave a gap but Basketball New Zealand is working on other ideas.

“For those players in our New Zealand age-group teams, they will get great exposure. The FIBA tournaments are closely watched by US scouts. The players we worry about are those just outside of that group who are seeking the US scholarship route. There are the likes of Division II, III and Junior colleges that may suit those players, but getting there is not so simple.

“We are already planning additional opportunities to help our athletes get exposure here in New Zealand, which will be announced soon. But it is not comprehensive as yet. We will have to see what else is out there. For now though, we just urge players and families to be vigilant. Question what people offer, find out exactly what you should expect from a trip or service, understand what you need to achieve to be of interest to a College.”