How AAU Basketball Allowed Roddy Peters The Opportunity To Have Shoulder Surgery Now


Roddy Peters senior season at Suitland High lasted all of 32 minutes. In last night’s loss to Wise High School Peters finished with 16 points in what will end up being the last game of his prep career. The local standout and Maryland Terrapins signee is shutting things down for the remainder of his senior season to have surgery on his shoulder. Peters confirmed this through a posting on his Instagram page last night.

While I am sure it was a tough decision for Peters to make, as last year’s Suitland High team made a serious run at the state title, having this procedure done now so that he is completely healed by June of 2013 in advance of coming to the University of Maryland is the right call. The desire to compete and to win will certainly be something that Peters will miss as he watches his teammates finish out their season from the bench but in the long run taking care of any lingering problems with his shoulder now will be to the benefit of Peters and the Terrapins basketball program. Interestingly enough I am of the opinion that we have the AAU circuit to thank for Peters ability to have this operation done now.

The Washington Post ran an article this morning on how Roddy Peters along with Maryland target Dion Wiley are “bucking the trend” of local basketball stars sticking with their local public schools instead of attending one of the private school powerhouses that make their home in the metro area. One of the main points I took away from reading that this morning was that your AAU affiliation is far more important than what high school you are playing for. Through watching the recruitment of former teammates and classmates I have been staunchly behind this train of thought for quite some time now. The AAU circuit presents the opportunity for players from across the country to go against each other in tournament settings making it easier to get top talent from a vast area on the same court at the same time.

Peters played for DC Assault, one of the area’s most widely known and well-respected AAU programs, and this is where he made his name on the national level blowing up into the consensus five-star prospect that committed to Maryland prior to his senior year. I am not going to make the claim that without playing for DC Assault on the AAU circuit that Peters would have never made it on to the Terrapins radar as I don’t believe that to be true whatsoever; good players are found no matter where they play.

What I will say, however, is this: The AAU circuit and Peters performance in it last summer allowed him the option to elect to have this surgery now and afford himself the opportunity to fully recover before he ever steps onto the College Park campus as a student. Without his performance for DC Assault and his subsequent jump in every major recruiting ranking index Peters could have found himself in a position where he had yet to commit and sign with a school like Maryland and would be forced to play through this injury in hopes of locking down that high major offer than all high school hoopsters long for.

Thankfully, for Maryland as well for Peters, this is not the case. Peters had the chance to show what he is capable of and landed his dream scholarship to a high major program all before his senior year at Suitland allowing him to have this surgery now and not worry about the ramifications. AAU basketball has long been vilified by media pundits for the practices of some of its programs. It is nice to actually be able to write a story where the point isn’t bashing AAU basketball for what it isn’t but instead acknowledging the positives that can be associated with it and seeing how its importance in the world of recruiting can promote positive outcomes for both the player and the institutions of higher learning these same AAU basketball players move on to.