Before high school athletes totally rule out trying to play sports in college they need to consider the similarity and differences between high school and college sports. As young children, most high school athletes started out dreaming about being a sports star and making it into the professional. If these dreams are given up because college sports seem out of reach or too difficult, they will never know where they could have ended up. College sports can seem like a big step from high school sports but in the end they have many similarities.
Schooling is very important to NBA athletes for numerous reasons. A degree could save an athlete from becoming bankrupt if he cannot become successful in the NBA. It would give that athlete the skills and knowledge to work another job. Another reason why an education could be important to any professional athlete is the knowledge to manage and spend their money correctly once they earn their big paychecks. The capricious management of money occurs far too often in professional basketball players. Former NBA all-star Shaquille O’Neal recalls spending “1 million in 30 minutes”, according to espn.go.com. O’Neal also agrees that college athletes should stay for at least three years in college, and that an education is the most important thing to
Most African American that want to make it to the National Football League (NFL) or the National basketball League (NBA), do not realize there is a slim chance to none of actually going into a professional sport. Gates writes “African American youngster has about as much of becoming a professional athlete as he or she does of winning the lottery” (1). Not many African American youngsters know that there are “12 times more black lawyers than black athletes” or there are only 1200 blacks who play in a professional sport (1). There are 12 times more black professionals that are in the communities accommodating to the needs of those who need the assistance with either legal or health issues. The youth can achieve greatness in today’s society by getting a degree and forming a foundation to make enough to be financially stable.
The NBA has seen many different players come and go throughout its 50 years of existence. In the last 15 years, there has been a boom of underclassmen leaving college early to enter the NBA draft. The last NBA draft in June, the top ten picks alone were underclassmen(Sports Illustrated, 264). Many more underclassmen are entering the NBA this year. The typical college career for the basketball players is playing until your junior year, then going pro. The NBA and the NCAA must do something in order to keep these young players in college.
Marty Blake and other NBA scouts said, ?No high school player belongs in the NBA? (Unknown 1). They don?t have the body type or mental strength to withstand night-in, night out beatings by bigger and faster people than them. Getting your education should be your first and most important priority in life. Scholarships and other academic money will help you learn things that you will never learn in your life. College ends up tapping into your outside sports life and lets you learn there are greater things and achievements than just sports. A more mature and literate person tends to be of better use to
There are many high school basketball phenoms that are scouted by pro teams even when they are in high school. A select few in the past have gone straight to the NBA out of high school and had a lot of success, while some players go to college all four years to develop their skills at the next level. However, there are athletes that will waste one year at the college level just so they could get to the NBA. Why would you waste one year of your life when you could have already been in the NBA a year earlier? Basketball players should either go to college all four years and enhance their skills and get a solid education. If not, skip college and go straight to the NBA, rather than wasting a year of your life, and possibly a classroom seat for a person who wanted to get an education.
The overarching reason for this ongoing debate for college athletes all relates to money. At 18 and 19 years old, most athletes do not have access to the amount of money they could potentially make in the NBA. Not only money, but also any sort of benefits that can be provided to them such housing, transportation or significant revenue that can improve the lives of not only themselves but their families. An article reviewing the NCAA business model and the paying of student athletes explains that:
Next, by an athlete staying and completing their education teaches the athlete maturity levels and raises maturity levels of an athlete. By staying in college an athlete can grow, develop, and mature throughout the course of their years in college. The athletes brain is more developed. The athlete has a more mature, developed mindset that benefits the athlete by allowing them to see game plans in a different perspective and allows the athlete to face challenges with a clearer mind, because college has equipped them with more experience in tough situations. For example, Michael Jordan, also known as MJ, received a full athletic scholarship to North Carolina University in 1981. Jordan played for the North Carolina Tar Heels for 3 years. Although Jordan was drafted in the 1984 NBA draft, he was only a junior in college.
The NBA is a billion dollar business and known as one of the largest and most prestigious organization within American sports today. It is also home to one of the most controversial rules in all of sports, which is known as "the one and done rule." The one and done rule restricts high school basketball players from entering the NBA draft out of high school and going to straight to the NBA. According to Article X, Section 1 of the NBA's 2005 collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the policy for player eligibility states:
Also, Lebron James had the desire to make his high school basketball team, however, he lacked the money to afford the bills that came with the sport of basketball.
Ever since Kevin Garnett, a teenager who by-passed college, was drafted as the fifth overall pick in the 1995 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft, more and more high school teenagers have been making the jump straight to the pros. Since the league draft of 1995, 17 first round picks have been high school players. This means that about 7 percent of first round draft picks in the NBA have been high school teens skipping out on their college education to make the jump to the NBA (Chylinski).
In the collegiate world of sports, basketball has become an increasingly recognized sport among African Americans, predominantly males. The hope of any young basketball player is that one day a scout will come and recruit them into stardom The question that presents itself as a problem to the lucky few who are chosen to go professional, is whether or not an education is more important than a million dollar shoe deal, “The NCAA's (1998) annual six-year study reported that only 33% of Black male basketball players graduated, (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1999). Individually, basketball reported the lowest graduation rate in all divisions,” (Robinson, 2004:1). Basketball players have become so idolized in the eyes of young
Along with increased enrollment students will stay in college longer to develop their game if they are intending to be a professional. It will allow their draft stock to rise. If they stay in school all four years then they will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge as well as develop their game to a high level to have an immediate impact in the big leagues. If players were compensated it would develop the maturity level and they will be financially educated to handle a big NBA or NFL rookie
Basketball lures many individuals into its fantastic world where everything seems to be made of dreams. Malone had an attraction towards the game but it was an unexpected time when he was given the chance of free education for his college. However, the stalwart made an unforeseen jump from high school to NBA and fortunately nobody raised concerns about the decision.
Something positive can be taken from the precedents Thurman and Fizer; both at least started a college education and made positive contributions to the game. Each year the number of high school athletes that go directly to the NBA increases. In recent years Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett have become household names with huge contracts. Both of them have risen to stardom after making the jump directly from high school. With all of the hype surrounding these success stories, little is mentioned about those not so fortunate. Like Garnett, Ronnie Fields attended Farragut Academy. In 1997 Fields attempted to follow Garnetts path to the NBA rather than accept a scholarship from a major university. Fields was not drafted and is not currently involved with any organized basketball (NBA.com). High school athletes need to realize that the fame of Bryant and Garnett are rare