Do NBA Players Play AAU?

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and attracts some of the best basketball players in the world. For many of these players, the path to the NBA started with Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball. But, do NBA players still play AAU?

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What is AAU Basketball?

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is a non-profit organization that promotes amateur sports and provides athletic competitions for athletes of all ages. In basketball, AAU teams are formed to compete against other teams in tournaments and showcase events around the country. AAU basketball is often seen as a stepping stone for young players who want to improve their skills and get noticed by college scouts. Many of today’s NBA stars got their start in AAU basketball.

Do NBA Players Play AAU?

The answer is yes and no. While some NBA players do still play AAU basketball, it is not as common as it was in the past. The NBA has strict rules that prohibit players from playing in certain amateur tournaments, and many of these tournaments are organized by the AAU. As a result, many NBA players opt to focus on their professional career and stay away from AAU basketball.

Benefits of Playing AAU Basketball

Despite the fact that many NBA players no longer play AAU basketball, there are still a number of benefits to participating in AAU events.
• Chance to Improve Skills: AAU tournaments provide a great opportunity for players to work on their skills and get better. The competition is often more intense than regular high school or college games, which can help players develop their game and prepare for the next level.
• Exposure to College Coaches: AAU tournaments are attended by college coaches who are on the lookout for talented players. Participating in AAU events can give players a chance to showcase their skills and get noticed by college coaches.
• Team Chemistry: Playing on an AAU team can help players learn how to play together as a team and build chemistry. This is important for any player who wants to make it to the next level, as it is essential to have good chemistry on a basketball team.
• Fun: AAU basketball can be a lot of fun, and it gives players a chance to play with other talented players and make new friends.

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Drawbacks of Playing AAU Basketball

While there are benefits to playing AAU basketball, there are also some drawbacks.

• Cost: AAU tournaments can be expensive, as there are often entry fees and travel costs associated with them. This can be a major barrier for players who do not have the financial means to participate.
• Time Commitment: Participating in AAU tournaments can require a significant time commitment, as players may need to travel to different tournaments throughout the year. This can be difficult for players who have other commitments such as school or work.
• Risk of Injury: AAU tournaments can be intense and competitive, which can lead to an increased risk of injury. Players should be aware of this risk and make sure they are taking the necessary precautions to prevent injuries.


The answer to the question “Do NBA players play AAU?” is yes and no. While some NBA players still participate in AAU tournaments, it is not as common as it was in the past. There are benefits and drawbacks to participating in AAU tournaments, and players should weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it is right for them.