Before applying for a scholarship in the USA you must know there are many types of available scholarships including: sports, academic, and need-based among others. Many sports will round out their roster with athletes who don’t receive any financial assistance. These athletes are called “walk-ons”
Walk-ons serve many purposes for the greater good of the team. They complete the number of players needed for a roster, help compete with others on the team, and participate in all other avenues that any scholarship player would. Walk-ons are members of the team just the same. The only difference is they don’t take away from the team’s budget. As a walk-on an athlete can showcase his skills to the coach in an effort to receive a scholarship the following season.
Other athletes may join a team strictly for the desire to be a part of the team and help in any way possible knowing they may never receive a scholarship. Being a member of a college sports team is a unique experience that only American universities can offer.
The most recent case in Europe was that of Adria Gasol, the youngest brother of NBA 7 foot Spanish superstars Pau (Los Angeles Lakers) and Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies). During the 2012-2013 season Adria was admitted to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to study engineering. Making the most of his situation he tried out for a walk-on spot with the historical UCLA basketball team. The team that produced NBA greats like Bill Walton, Reggie Miller, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Despite not having played in any games with the Bruins, his experience served him well to be able to go back to Spain and train with the ACB legend Gregor Fucka and Rodrigo de la Fuente with the goal of playing in the NBA.
Adria’s case is not common, but walk-ons have made it to the pros in the past. Clay Mathews is one of the great success stories. As a walk-on at USC Mathews did not see the field in the first couple years, but with his hard work he developed into a talented linebacker and is now one of the best defensive players in the NFL.
Reaching your goals is not impossible in college athletics without a scholarship. If you truly want it, fight for that dream and it may one day be your story to tell the world.
Source cited: El Mundo Deportivo BlogdeBasket.com