Any athlete growing up in a rural area will tell you one of the biggest challenges of reaching the next level is finding a platform to show what you can do.
 
For Grace High School's Gage Stoddard, that's no different.
 
"It's not like any Division I coach is going to come to Grace, Idaho to see one kid," said Stoddard.
 
Stoddard travels the region playing AAU ball, but when his dad found out about the NCAA's first ever College Basketball Academy, it immediately became hard to pass up.
 
So Stoddard went through the nomination process, and was one of seven players in Idaho invited to attend the west regional, and the only one on the east side of the state. Stacking himself up with players from all over the country in front of college coaches.
 
"They're like 'where are you from? I'm like 'Grace, Idaho.' And they're like 'where's Idaho?' I was like, I had to think about it, I've never been asked. Well it's like Utah, I mean it's by all those in there. They're like 'where's Grace?' I was like I don't know if I even want to try to explain where that is," said Stoddard on conversations with teammates. 
 
In one game, Stoddard  played in front of more than 55 college coaches.
 
The kids also received life skills training from for college and pro athletes, and worked with Division III coaches while receiving feedback.
 
And it's already paying off.
 
"I've been getting looks and stuff from coaches that I saw there. So just the fact of getting my name out there, and them being able to say 'hey I saw that kid out there at that high level camp,' so they can kind of take a closer look."
 
And for Stoddard, he comes back to Grace with a humbling experience, and a better idea of how to get to the next level.
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