ST. LOUIS – According to the NCAA, only two percent of high school athletes are awarded some form of an athletics scholarship to compete in college.
With chances so slim, the amount of exposure athletes get is crucial. St. Louis is hosting its 11th annual Nike President’s Day Classic, where volleyball players from across the nation get the chance to showcase their skills to college coaches.
“We’ve got great competition here. Because we are all under one roof and having 82 courts going at the same time, it’s very attractive for colleges to come see. It’s a lot easier for them to recruit at an event like this then at a high school game,” said Scott McQueen, owner and club director.
Last year around 150 universities came to scout the fresh talent. Tournament directors are expecting to see more this year, and the players are ready to show them what they got.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to meet new coaches and just get like super acclimated to situations for college volleyball. It’s important to expose yourself to new surroundings and college coaches for a better chance at a scholarship,” said Lydia Smith, Seckman High junior.
Although nailing an athletic scholarship is the ultimate goal, having fun and competing is what it’s all about.
The tournament will be held at The Dome Convention Center downtown until Sunday, February 16. There is a $12 per day entry fee or a $30 flat fee for the entire weekend.