Most top-flight football and basketball recruits have to do very little to get noticed by coaches at Division I programs. In fact, the problems most often cited by that premier tier of recruit revolve around badgering from coaches or fans of different top college programs.
At the same time, other athletes that fly under the radar have to work much harder to get noticed, working to get their name in front of any coach who might be interested in bringing them to their school. Occasionally, they even have to take extreme steps to get their name in front of someone with a scholarship to give.
That was the case on Sunday, when Fort Worth (Texas) Southwest Christian School swingman Zeke Horton (or someone willing to represent his interests) left pseudo business cards promoting his skills on the windshields of every car parked outside the college coaches' entrance at Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman High.
As first reported by the Los Angeles Times' Ben Bolch, Horton's timing in leaving personalized business cards was particularly prescient: One of the biggest AAU tournaments of the summer happened to be going on at the Bishop Gorman gym at the exact moment that he left his card; the Las Vegas Fab 48 club tournament.
You can see Horton's card above, thanks to Bolch, who offered Prep Rally a photo he snapped in his Las Vegas hotel room, where he's covering the Fab 48 event. The self-promotional handout touts Horton's YouTube highlight reel, which you can watch below. That clip shows improved shooting range and defensive intensity from his middle school highlight reel (as well as one from his year playing junior varsity basketball as a freshman), which Horton long ago uploaded onto college recruiting social media site BeRecruited.
Horton's BeRecruited profile notes that he averaged eight points, eight rebounds and two assists per game during Southwest Christian's impressive, 26-6 2010-11 campaign.
As Bolch notes, Horton's rather brash move could either be a stroke of genius or could smack of the type of desperation that could make any of the significant coaches at the Fab 48 tournament dismiss him out of hand.
Clearly, the rising junior has no small store of confidence in his own ability. No one without unlimited self confidence would dare leave a business card in a place where the likes of UCLA coach Ben Howland would have to scrape it off their windshield.
At the same time, some coaches might be taken by a teenager plucky enough to stare down the intimidation of top college coaches and force them to at least see his name, whether they want to hear from him or not.
No matter what coaches think of him, they'll all have to agree on one thing: Horton clearly isn't going to give up on the dream of playing college basketball without a fight.