Scams are not unheard of even in the basketball world. Recently there have been stories out there about former athletes scamming players and their parents out of money.
Former New Mexico State basketball player Daniel Hicks created a basketball camp and scammed seven young basketball players out of $500 a piece.
Kids traveled from all over the world to play in Hicks camp, but quickly found out that his “basketball camp” was just a way for Hicks to make money. Some kids weren’t fed for days at a time and had very little money.
Hicks claimed he was trying to bring a positive academic and basketball experience to South Charleston (West Virginia). It’s hard to believe Hicks after reading all the charges against him that it was his intention to help students become better basketball players. As a parent, you wonder how to avoid basketball scams like this and people like Hicks.
First of all, do the research. If a camp is run by a former player r basketball trainer you have never heard of before, find out this person’s background. In the age of this of the internet, it is easy to find out about anyone’s background. You’ll be surprised at what you find if you Google that person. If they are asking an outrageous amount of money, then that could a sign as well. All basketball camps are going to ask for a certain amount of money, but if it sounds like it’s too much they are asking for, then it maybe a scam.
Ask questions about the camp and what all they offer. Do they offer room and board? What skills will your kids be learning? And most importantly who will be teaching your kids? Another good indication if this is a legit camp or not is the website. Does the business have it’s own physical location?
If the website looks professionally done, it’s should give you a good idea whether or not the camp is legitimate.
As a parent, you best bet is to find camps run by known players or head coaches. A lot of college basketball coaches run summer camps for different ages. Normally, the kids wouldn’t have to leave the area you can just take them there and drop them off for the day.
Be leery of any camp that may be out of town or in some cases as in the Hicks case, out of the country. I’m sure if the parents in the Hicks case knew their child would be in another country being treated horribly by this guy, no one would they have sent them there. Most basketball camps should be a fun and safe environment for children to learn and grow as student athletes. If the camp you are thinking of sending your child to does not offer those things, your best bet is to stay away.
The best way to keep your pocket book safe and most importantly your child safe is to do your homework parents; follow your instincts. You’ll be saving time and money if you following your gut because if it’s too good to be true, it normally is.