The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

Portland Trailblazers rookie guard C. J. McCollum tells high school athletes what to expect when choosing a college.

C. J. McCollum at Lehigh University

Photo: AP Images

The most fun will be the visits. You're going to love those. Looking back, I would have taken more visits, even if I knew where I was going to commit, because they are so much fun. The hard part comes later, when you need to pick a school, and when you do, let down other schools and coaches you've gotten to know through the recruiting process.

When you are making your choice, do your research. Pay attention to the roster. The coach is going to tell you one thing, but it's another thing to see the position you are going to play and see what they already have there. Talk to the players, from the star of the team to the guys on the bench, to see how they like the school. Also, talk to non-athlete students for their perspective.

In the end, I chose Lehigh because it offered me the chance to earn a prestigious degree and play right away. I'd never heard of the school before recruiting started, but as I got to know the school, I could tell it was a great fit. There's a great community at the school, a 9-to-1 student-to-professor ratio, and I really got to know my classmates. Today, I'm thankful I was able to earn my degree, experience all four years of college, and learn a lot about myself and life outside of basketball.

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