McALLEN — Jaime Cavazos wants to make his CSI facility more than a world class facility for training, even though he specializes at it as evidenced by the more than 60 Div. I athletes he has trained. He wants it to be a one-stop shop for all types of athletes.
Nathan Gonzalez wants to provide area athletes more opportunities to earn college scholarships; to provide them knowledge as well as actual participation in the showcasing effort.
The pairing has resulted in the first South Texas Basketball College Exposure Showcase, which will be held in two sessions Saturday, April 20 at CSI, located at 2900 Buddy Owens Blvd. in McAllen. Coaches from around Texas will be in attendance, ranging from Divs. I and II, NAIA and junior college coaches.
Top junior and senior basketball players from the Rio Grande Valley as well as the Laredo and Corpus Christi areas are expected to be in attendance for either the Class A-5A session from 9 a.m. to noon or the Class 6A session from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Invitations are being sent out based on coaches’ recommendations and showcase registration applications for those who feel they can play at the next level. Applications can be found at csitrain.com. Basketball players will be asked to enter information such as GPA, test scores, coach’s name and number (for a recommendation) as well as basketball stats and any related awards.
A basketball player who fits the requirements will then be given an invitation. Coaches will be able to offer scholarships on the spot if they see someone who fits an area of need for their team during what’s known as an approved college evaluation period.
“Something I’ve always wanted to do is to make the facility a turnkey sports performance facility,” Cavazos said. “Not to just be training for skill or training for athleticism but to get athletes exposed to the next level.”
The itinerary for each session includes:
— Anatomical measurements (height, weight)
— NBA style combine (vertical jump, laser agility drills)
— Open skill drills
— Open game play
“A lot of times, kids here in the Valley will have a great year and once their season is over, it’s like ‘what’s next,’” said Gonzalez, a former Mission Vets standout who earned all-district, all-valley and all-state honors among other awards while there. “Some people down here have a decent path ready for these kids, but so many slip through the cracks and it’s difficult sometimes to look at that big picture. To them, they’re just playing at school.
“We want to have an intimate event with a handful of coaches or reps for those schools and put these kids right in front of them. Some don’t know where to go or who to talk to; we want to eliminate a lot of that.”
“The reception has been excellent,” Gonzalez said. “We will grow this over time but it’s exciting to know that if a coach sees somebody, they can snag them up right there.”
Cavazos said there is still time for the basketball player who feels his skills can get him onto the college court to sign up. While most participants will be seniors and juniors, there is space for the elite sophomore and freshman.
“We feel that there are a lot of hidden gems in our area,” Cavazos said. “We want to get them exposed and ready for basketball after high school.
“If you feel you have the ability to play at the next level, go apply online for free and make sure to attend this event.”