The Real Cost of Playing Youth Sports

The Real Cost of Playing Youth Sports

OKEMOS - High school sports are not cheap.

For Okemos senior, Jordan Henry, he has been playing basketball for 12 years.

His father, Mike Henry, said he's probably spent over $25,000 throughout the years.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, NFHS, only 1 in 54 athletes get a sport scholarship to a D1 school.

Jordan Henry is close; he will be a point guard and shooting guard at Roberts Wesleyan in Chili New York, a D2 school.

With the costs of things like coaching, equipment and uniforms, the youth sports industry is worth $15 billion.

"It really increased as he got to high school," Mike Henry said. "Probably the travel is where we spend most the money."

The NCAA found that most D1 athletic scholarships are worth $10,400.

On the other hand, The College Board found that the moderate cost to attend an in-state, public university is $50,900.

That means the scholarship doesn't even cover a quarter of the cost to actually attend college.

"I got a full ride, but I have to pay for room and board," Jordan Henry said.

The money wasn't a huge limitation throughout his sons basketball career, according to Mike Henry.

"I was there to support him, because that's what he loves to do and it was a once-in-a-life time, even if he didn't play college, he got to go travel to quite a few different locations, play with some of the best players in the nation," he said.

Mike Henry said kids should not be put in sports in the hope they will some day play collegiate.

"If that's why you do it, you'd probably be betterĀ spending your money somewhere else," he said.

Academics may be a better solution if a scholarship is desired.

The NFHS states there is $3 billion available in sports scholarships every year.

But, there is more than $11 billion in academic scholarships available.

Money is important factor, but according to Mike Henry, there's more to making dreams come true.

"I knew that he worked hard for it so it was really enjoyable being his father knowing he's accomplished something he wanted to accomplish," he said.

Jordan Henry also said Roberts Wesleyan had a good program for what he would like to do.

"They have a good business school that I want to go into," he said.

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