Rockford Heat changes up recruiting gameplan

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) The Rockford Heat is all about getting its players to the next level and it has done just that.

The program has helped more than 80 stateline athletes earn $6.4 million worth of scholarships since 2013. For it to send more girls to college during this pandemic, it's changing up its gameplan.

"If we're a Rockford Heat athlete, we can still go get that recruiting and it will pay off for them," said Heat founder John Penney.

The Heat do not believe this COVID-19 pandemic will stop them from getting a college scholarship, but they will have to change up how they get noticed.

Auburn sophomore Brooklyn Gray says it's all about marketing yourself.

"You have to start getting yourself out there, and you have to start doing your own drills and working hard on your own court," said Gray. "You have to do anything to get looks because you never know what's going to happen."

Normally, Heat players would be playing at tournaments in front of scouts, but they are confined to their homes.

Instead, they are taking to social media and hopping on video conference calls with coaches.

Hononegah junior Alison Murdoch says she is learning a lot.

"I've been starting to work on a highlight video and that's just something I feel like anybody can do," Murdoch said. "You just put together a video and then you take the first step in talking to colleges."

Penney founded the program 15 years ago and he is hoping to get his girls back in front of college coaches, in person, sometime this summer.

"As long as we can get back onto the court at some point, we'll forget about this," said Penney. "As a competitor, you're looking for that next challenge and this is no different. When we get over this hump or this hill, we'll be ready to rock and roll."