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High school prospects should become friends with the weight room

The four WNY ballers transitioning to the college game have reached a level many high school athletes dream of. They offered advice for those hoping to one day play college basketball – whether Division I or NAIA.

“If they think they can do it and they have any desire to do it, I say do it,” Cassie Oursler said. “I couldn’t imagine going to college without playing a college sport. I know it’ll make my college career so much better because I’m giving something to the school. So if you have any desire to do it, do it, and work hard.”

Adam Weir dreamed of Division I for a decade. Now that he’s there, he implores prospective college players to make their game as fast as possible.

“The jump from high school to college, the game is way faster,” he said.

La’Trice Hall has been doing weight training for several years, while Jermaine Crumpton is just getting accustomed to it. Both encourage high schoolers to get used to a weight room early on.

Hall, who had more than 12 Division I offers, encouraged those preparing to enter their senior seasons to put in the work now.

“Going after colleges, if you can’t make a decision, you recruit them,” Hall said. “Don’t just let them recruit you, because the recruiting process is very strange. One week they’ll be on you and say, ‘We want you; you’re a top recruit.’ And then they’ll go out and recruit someone else.

“If anyone is telling you that you can’t, don’t believe them. Go after your dreams. Just keep working hard and it’ll pay off. That’s the best advice you can give anyone.”

Keith Vinci, Canisius’ trainer, urges high schoolers to start gripping iron immediately.

“You don’t have to become an expert, but get familiar with the weight room,” Vinci said. “Start learning the basic exercises. Start learning how to squat; start learning how to bench. Make sure you come in somewhat conditioned. A lot of freshmen come in and they haven’t done anything all summer long and they’re so far behind. Then you have to cut back because they’re getting injured or on the brink of injury because they’re so out of shape.

“Not only that, but their form is so crappy, it’s almost unsafe. Come in with some knowledge, just some base – they don’t have to be a giant, they don’t have to be a superstar – but get some base, some knowledge.”