Date of Publication

Spring 4-26-2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Katharine Burakowski


The purpose of this research was to gain a deeper understanding about what former Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball players took away from their experience during participation. The reason this study was conducted was because AAU often requires a large time and financial commitment. There is a lot that goes into AAU between practices, tournaments, traveling, plus other expenses that show up throughout AAU. This research study is important to people who are thinking about joining the organization but also those who are interested in exploring if it is still beneficial to participate. It is known that a lot of talented players have developed from participating in AAU and that it is often thought of as a way to get recruited by college scouts.

The sampling method used was non-probability sampling and more specifically, the keyinformant technique and snowball sampling was used. Eight interviews were conducted to try and gain a deeper understanding from the participants to understand what they have taken away from their AAU experience. During the interviews, it was discovered that a lot of the participants did grow both as people and as athletes throughout their AAU career. There was a goal for most participants of potentially getting recruited and they thought that AAU was going to help them progress as a player and get noticed by recruiters. A lot of the takeaways from participants included non-basketball related outcomes as well. This includes things such as making new friends, networking, and learning a skill set of life lessons that they still carry with them to this day. The information that is known now is important because youth sport is something that a lot of people take advantage of and as more young athletes are getting into sport, they realize there are a lot of opportunities out there for them. AAU has proved itself to be a stepping stone for many athletes and if more people share their experiences, people may be more willing to invest the time and money into the organization.