AAU basketball is played within the framework of the Amateur Athletic Union and includes boys' and girls' teams for ages 9 to 18 as well as a men’s division, as of 2014. AAU is a nonprofit organization in the United States that promotes athletics and fitness programs.
Players who want to join an AAU basketball team must first become a member of the AAU. Yearly memberships run from September to August. Players can join the AAU and find a local basketball team on the AAU website. One of the primary benefits of AAU affiliation for basketball players is participating in a respected well-known amateur sports organization. Basketball coaches receive training with their membership for no additional fee.
The AAU was founded in 1888 with a philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever” and a goal of establishing standards for amateur sports. In 2014, there are more than 670,000 participants and 100,000 volunteers nationwide that are divided into 56 districts. Aside from basketball, the AAU runs 33 other sports programs.
Many of the national championships are played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The ESPN complex has a field house with six courts for basketball players.