How To Get a Basketball Scholarship in Canada

Are you interested in how to get basketball scholarships in Canada? Scholarships can be a great way to offset tuition costs, allowing you to focus on your basketball dreams. Whether through U Sports funding or local scholarship opportunities, you can secure financial assistance through basketball in various ways.

GrantMe supports students who want to pursue their dreams without accruing a mountain of debt. Athletics scholarships are one way to do that, and we’re here to help you explore your funding opportunities.

Basketball Scholarships Canada 

Basketball scholarships, just like other athletic awards, have previously been subject to a merit-based system. But the good news? Recent U Sports policy changes place less emphasis on academic achievements, which means scholarships are more accessible than ever to student-athletes.

Depending on the university’s policy, scholarships can be awarded for one year or the duration of the program. The amount of funding you can get at Canadian institutions depends on the province and university.

Students can be evaluated for funding during the recruitment process to become varsity athletes. That funding may come from U Sports, but student-athletes also have the opportunity for additional scholarships, grants, and bursaries.

How Much Funding is Available Through Athletic Scholarships?

Athletic Financial Awards (AFAs) vary by university and province. An AFA unit equates to the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees for any student-athlete during an academic year. So, if tuition and the required fees are $5000, an athletic scholarship of $5000 would use one unit.

U Sports funding at some universities is capped at $4500 per athlete, but in Ontario, it’s capped at $5000. The best way to find out what scholarship funding is available is to contact coaches and universities. That way, you can apply to the programs that offer you the most funding opportunities.

Take the 3-minute program assessment quiz to determine how many funding opportunities you’re eligible for.

How To Get A Basketball Scholarship in Canada

Many young athletes hope to win an athletics scholarship to help ease the financial burden of university. But you’ll need to be proactive to get selected for one.

Let’s explore some of your options.

Next College Student Athlete (NSCA)

The NCSA website has a wealth of information to support you as you explore how to get a basketball scholarship in Canada.

It supplies essential details about different universities, like:

  • Who to contact about recruiting
  • Names of past alumni
  • Ways to start the recruiting process
  • Key personnel in the athletic department

The NCSA can help you build relationships with coaches by allowing you to create a highly visible recruiting profile. The best part of all is that it’s 100% free.

You can also discuss your options with a professional NCSA scout during a recruiting analysis.

Alternative Funding

Although U Sports plays a vital role in student-athlete funding at Canadian universities, there are alternative avenues for basketball scholarships.

For example, each year, six students receive Hudl’s $1000  CCAA Torchbearer Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes student-athletes who have contributed to the betterment of their community. To be eligible, you’ll need to be enrolled at a CCAA member institution and registered with a CCAA varsity sports team.

You might also apply for the Alberta Athletic Award ($1800) and the District/Authority Scholarship ($1250). 

Scholarships can also consist of different awards that are up to the coach to grant. The best way to find out what scholarship funding is available is to contact coaches and universities directly. 

You can also take our program assessment quiz to learn about possible scholarship opportunities.

Being Proactive in the Recruitment Process

[Image of basketball player conversing with coach]

The first step to finding basketball scholarships is good old fashioned research. Look for universities and colleges that not only offer basketball (and funding) but also subjects you want to study.

The earlier you can start, the better. More breathing room means a lot more time for ID clinics and application submissions.

Once you narrow down your options, start reaching out directly to coaches. We also recommend you attend as many tryouts and recruiting events as possible.

This hands-on experience will not only help get your name out there, but will also allow you to assess whether the program and school are the best fit for you.

Contacting Coaches

Basketball coaches are busy and receive hundreds, if not thousands, of messages from student-athletes. You want to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons, which means always respecting this fact and being professional in your communication.

Don’t cold-call coaches. If you want to work with them in the future, take the time to learn about their team and develop a relationship before asking about scholarships. Reach out via email, Linkedin or a DM on social media. Better yet, attend an ID clinic. Not only will you learn on-court skills and experience competitive scenarios, but you can get to know the coach in person.

Once you’ve formed a connection, send your recruiting video. The coach is more likely to pay attention when they already know who you are. Your email should make the process easy for the coach. Keep the email short and sweet, but include your graduation year, basketball program, and position.

Take the program assessment quiz and determine if you’re eligible to work with our top education consultants who can help you craft your applications.

Making a Recruiting Video

A strong video showcasing your skills is a crucial component of winning a basketball scholarship. It’s an opportunity to showcase your abilities and separate yourself from other applicants.

Your recruiting video should:

  • Be taken from a high angle that shows more of the court
  • Have an identification arrow at the beginning of a play so you’re easy to spot
  • Showcase a diverse range of abilities early on
  • Contain clips from two or three games (not practices)
  • Include your best plays, close-ups, and a focus on your skill set
  • Demonstrate the playing environment and the competition level

The recruiting video is your change to show coaches why you would be an asset to the team. 

Be sure to include clips of ball handling, shooting, footwork, 1-on-1 offense and defensive plays, and game speed. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend keeping the video to under four minutes with a maximum of 20-30 clips in total.

Navigating the Complexities of Sports Scholarships 

GrantMe is committed to helping aspiring student-athletes secure the funding they need to attend their top-choice schools. You can start the process by taking our program assessment quiz to see which program is the right fit for you and assess your funding options.

Basketball scholarships Canada are still worthwhile pursuing, but you don’t need to do it alone. Just ask one of the 20,000+ GrantMe scholars who pursued their dreams with the bonus of scholarship funding.

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