Ready for recruitment: Farmer (12) and Walsh’s (12) summer sports

Max Chasin, Staff Writer

“The summer is a great opportunity to play in front of college coaches and scouts,” Aillil Walsh (12), who spent the summer competing in basketball showcases and tournaments, said. Laila Farmer (12) had a similar experience playing soccer across the country at different camps in front of college coaches. Both she and Walsh spent the summer working towards the goal of getting recruited to play at the collegiate level in their respective sports. 

In order to stay in shape and prepare for his tournaments and showcases, Walsh dedicated a substantial amount of time to practice, he said. “Because there has been no school, I’ve had much more free time, so it’s easier to get two to three workouts a day.” 

Walsh was not able to practice with his team, King Hoops NYC, both because of the pandemic and the distance to the team’s practice facility, but the independent workouts did an adequate job of preparing himself for tournaments, he said.

Farmer had to be in good shape for her showcases as well, she said. “I would run almost every day, and when I was not running, I was doing ab workouts to get stronger.” Farmer also competed against college athletes in pickup games on Randall’s Island or Riverside Park, she said.

Walsh had a very successful summer in regards to his competitions, he said. Walsh and his team won two tournaments and finished the summer with a winning record. 

Farmer and her team, Manhattan Soccer Stars, also played well, she said. They competed in a tournament called Delco, which Farmer considers to be her best tournament of the summer, she said. “I gained a lot of confidence going into the summer and that was definitely something noticed by college coaches.” 

Over the course of the summer, Walsh encountered difficulties caused by the pandemic. It has been difficult to get in front of coaches to play, and Division III coaches are not traveling, he said. Ultimately, Walsh did his best to network and get his name out to certain coaches by emailing around, and he feels as though he made the most out of his summer, he said.

Farmer was able to receive excellent exposure to many college coaches by attending several ID camps, which are camps specific to colleges so that coaches can observe players, she said. “At the camps you play small side games, technicals, and larger games, so it’s a great opportunity for coaches to really assess your ability.” 

Overall, this summer was helpful for both athletes as they worked towards their goals of getting recruited. “Going into my senior year, recruiting for colleges is huge, and this summer really helped me gain a lot of confidence going into next year,” Farmer said.