Following her junior season, Stephanie Paul was fighting to get noticed. Her high school, the Community School of Naples, got little attention and severely limited her exposure.
Paul joined the Florida Future in hopes of changing that. After one sterling performance in a high-profile tournament, Future coach Michael Giusto found his cell phone ringing incessantly. Coaches from dozens of Division I colleges had caught wind of Paul’s showing and wanted to see more.
Paul ended up committing to Georgia, where she started 13 games as a freshman this season.
“Hudl and Florida Future is what put her on the map,” Giusto said. “Nobody was going to see her at community school. They had no freaking clue who she was. Hudl played a key role in that.”
Paul is just one of many Future players that used their club highlights to catch the eyes of college recruiters. The team recently had players sign with Stetson, Furman and Massachusetts, and another has drawn interest from Connecticut.
Giusto’s daughter, Mya, is among those who have benefited. The point guard picked up her first college offer in seventh grade and has only seen her profile grow since.
“Going into high school they have such an advantage, just through their network alone,” Giusto said. “With the Hudl highlights we put out on social media, (Mya) has kids from all over the country networking with her. It’s amazing. Hudl was the vehicle we used to build her brand and get her name out there. I put some highlights together and people went nuts. It caught fire.”
The highlights are great for attracting the big fish, but Giusto said they’re particularly impactful for smaller schools. Many Division II, Division III and NAIA schools don’t have the money to travel all over the country and watch club tournaments. But if those coaches catch a highlight video, they might be intrigued enough to dig deeper.
“If you think about DII, DIII, NAIA coaches, they don’t have the budgets that these Division I coaches have,” Giusto said. “They rely on us travel coaches or parents to send them the film. If I don’t send them game film, they don’t get to see them play.”
The highlights also helped Giusto grow the Future’s brand. The program’s website features highlight videos of several players, and by sharing them out on social media, Giusto was able to establish a strong local following.
But that’s not as important to Giusto as getting his players noticed, and Hudl’s highlights have helped him do that. Though Giusto no longer coaches with the Future, he’s seen the power highlights can have in getting a player noticed.
“Coaches can’t always get in the car or get on a plane and get to your games physically,” Giusto said. “It’s an opportunity for us to show them. The highlights are a great way to get their attention through social media. The girls do a great job of promoting themselves.”
Have other stories of club performances or highlights getting a player on recruiting radars? Share in the comments below or send us a tweet at @HudlHoops. And if you want to see the power Hudl can have for your club team, check out our website.