Thursday, August 13, 2009

The End Of The Old Ways

That whole "go to school so you can get a degree to fall back on" process we've assumed is best for an athlete? Going, going, gone.

Then again, it hasn't been real prevalent for a while. Baseball players are often drafted right out of high school and many basketball studs are only going to college for a year because of NBA rules that force them to spend a season playing university ball (see Greg Oden and Kevin Durant).

Now colleges may not see the basketball players at all thanks to the decision of prep basketball player Jeremy Tyler. Tyler has decided that he wants to play basketball for a living and he doesn't feel like taking the well traveled one year of college route. He doesn't even feel like finishing high school.

Instead, the 6' 11" Tyler became the first American-born player to leave high school early in order to play professional basketball. Tyler will play in the Israeli Premier League for $150,000 instead of finishing his senior year of high school and maybe going to college for a year.

How do you tell a teenager who thinks it's his destiny to play ball that he needs to give up $150,000 so he can sit in class for two years? Tyler didn't take a furtive approach to disappearing overseas, he's happy and proud of his decision. He now makes more money then most Americans and he isn't even old enough to vote.

I'm sure Tyler plans on returning in a few years when he's eligible in order to reap the million dollar rewards of the NBA. It will be interesting to see how he progresses in that span. If Tyler develops a good enough game overseas that he's a coveted NBA player, you are going to see lots of tall, athletic kids dumping European History 101 in order to play in Europe today. And it will be hard to argue with them.

No comments:

Post a Comment