Lamond Murray On College Recruiting
The former NBA sharpshooter wants to educate high school student-athletes.
SLAM: What concerns do you have about college recruiting?
LM: Uh, I think it’s fickle. It changes from year to year, from day to day. One day they want you, the next day somebody comes out of the woodwork that they really think can help their team. Some kids get left and they fall through the cracks because they didn’t go through the proper evaluation process. They thought that people were really serious about recruiting them, so they stopped in terms of making contact with coaches, emailing, phone calls and doing their due diligence to make sure they’re recognized to where they have that opportunity.
In their senior year, the letters keep coming in but when the recruiting process started, and it starts earlier nowadays—seventh, eighth grade. And most kids that are legitimate prospects are usually signed in their junior year before their senior year.
SLAM: I think the concern—this is an obvious statement—is that college sports is big business. You have these 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds who might not have the savvy for recruiting or they might not have two parents. Maybe they have one parent, maybe they don’t have parents to help guide them through that process.
LM: Yeah, that’s another thing. And those parents have jobs. They don’t have the opportunity to give the kid as much of their time to find out the ins and outs of the recruiting process that they have to take care of. To have somebody who’s on your side who can take care of that for you, that can educate you in a short period of time and you know that they have all the tools and all the networking available to give the kid an opportunity to be recruited and how serious that recruiting process can be, is big. It’s out of the high school coach’s hands, as well.
SLAM: Well, on the other hand, I think a skeptic would wonder why there has to be a middleman between the athlete and the school. Or how can any organization, such as the NCSA, will have the athlete’s best interest at heart and not swayed by colleges.
LM: [Organizations like the NCSA] don’t contact the colleges. They’re a middleman to get information. So, if the colleges want to send information to prospective athletes, those are things that the colleges are able to send out. In the day and age when the networking is so much easier and those college coaches don’t have to travel all the way across the country just to see somebody on the West Coast, that might not be in their budget, as well.
But on the other hand, you always want to be able to educate the parents and the student-athlete about the ins and outs of the recruiting process. It’s providing them platforms for them to be seen. Their SATs, ACTs and a properly evaluated video tape of them doing the proper things on the video. I think it’s only going to add to them being recruited the right way, instead of being all shooting threes on their video with this loud music [laughs]. 50 Cent blasting in the background, I mean, how serious can you take a recruit? Colleges don’t want to see that. They don’t want to have to turn the volume down, to put it on mute. You have highlights of guys dunking the ball or shooting the three. How is that going to be something for me to evaluate you? I’m going to turn that tape off after 20 seconds of watching it.
I think what we really do is provide a platform for them to be educated on the recruiting process and a platform for the college coaches to be able to reach out to the student-athletes. And that’s basically how it works.
SLAM: How do you deal with the social media aspect of recruiting? You have coaches on Twitter and Facebook, athletes on Twitter and Facebook.
LM: Yeah, you know, a lot of the college coaches, from what we know about, when they go on Twitter and those things, they’re not looking to see your highlight film on there.
They’re going on there to see what your character is all about. To see who’s contacted you, to see what you’re saying on the Internet, to see what kind of person you are. A lot of kids don’t know that. A lot of people don’t understand that that’s what all the college coaches are doing. It’s checking out the character and really not anything else.
SLAM: And you guys are helping athletes in other sports that don’t get much traction, like volleyball, track & field?
LM: This is a platform for every sport. This is golf, crew, water polo. This is every sport. Not just basketball or football. But what we’re trying to do right now is to get more qualified people in each prospective sport to get on-board and deliver the message. So, that’s how I got involved with the basketball aspect of it.
SLAM: Are there some obvious recruiting differences with the sports that don’t rake in the kind of money that basketball and football do?
LM: Yeah, that’s when it comes down to they don’t have the budgets to travel to see everybody that they may want to put on their list. So, we’re the best way to see [those athletes] from a certified source. They know that they can trust us, not just word-of-mouth.
SLAM: Your website says all recruits should contact a minimum of 100 coaches in their respective sport. Why 100?
LM: Because that’s like any sales rep. You contact 100 people but out of that 100 people you may get ten people to really talk to you. And out of that ten, you may get only five who want to do business with you. So, that will help them narrow it down, to get out to as many people as possible. Who they are and what they can provide and to get down to the serious people who want them involved in their programs. That’s Sales 101.