News out of San Diego, Calif., where basketball star
Jeremy Tyleris going pro and skipping his senior year--of high school.
The details of this decision are rehashed
and fairly criticizedin this article over at SportsPower . Basically, Tyler feels that high school basketball and college basketball for that matteris below him and he needs to get started right away. He will go to Europe and start playing against seasoned pros much older and more experienced than him, with plans to come back for the NBA when he's eligible.
Remember the good old days, when leaving college after your junior year caused a gasp? We can thank
Kevin Garnettfor opening the floodgates for skipping college altogether. He went straight to the NBA in 1995.
Jermaine O'Nealfollowed the next year, and their success stories have encouraged copycatters all over the country like
Ousmane Cisse(what, never heard of them?) who turned down free college educations because they wouldn't let their immense talent bring the dream to them. They instead had to hurry to it.
The NBA responded by passing a rule requiring a year out of high school before being eligible for the draft, but that was circumvented by
Brandon Jennings, who finished high school and went straight to Europe for a season. He's expected to be a lottery pick in June's NBA Draft now that he's eligible.
Now, this: Skipping a year of high school. It's really crazy, and it makes you wonder how low the bar will fall. We already know about eighth-graders being offered scholarships . Sixth graders are ranked by recruiting services. My 5-year old niece, who has never played basketball but appears to be on her way to being tall, might get chased down by
Sonny Vacarrosoon. I'll keep you posted.
With so much cash at stake between shoe deals, salaries and other sources of income, kids just can't wait to cash in on their talent. But I don't see one single positive in skipping one of the most memorable years of your life to get pushed around by men 4,000 miles away from home. As the SportsPower article mentions, Tyler has a lot of maturing to do
mostly mentalbefore he's ready for the NBA. Europe could be an awful experiment for him, seven-figure paydays or not.
It's true what the Notorious B.I.G. said--mo money, mo problems. You just hate to see kids find out the hard way.