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Players need to stop being treated like lottery tickets

With all the hype that surrounds high school hoop stars this time of the year, one has to wonder if times have changed for better or worse.  It is rumored that between 6 and 10 people are involved in a high school athlete's inner circles from the time they are labeled as a top college prospect, and only grows as their "earning potential" increases.  Beyond the pats on the back from  admirer's, coaches, school faculty, and the everyday neighborhood fan, these young men are treated like gods, and not just because they average 30 points per game and are ranked in the top 10 of all high school recruits in the nation.  As we learned from Rod Tidwell in the movie Jerry Maguire, its all about the money.  Kids were used to be encouraged to use their respective talents in order to get a college education first,  and then if they were good enough, take a shot at a career at the next level.   As we have mentioned in previous articles, young men are being influenced as to which school will give them the quickest path to the NBA at the earliest possible convenience.  Why? So they can get the millions that comes with being an NBA lottery pick.  Why? Because they have 15 people in their ear telling them to go for money now while they can.........because they want some of it to!!!

I know.  I know.  A lot of these kids have grown up dirt poor and want to do something great for their family and move their mother and siblings to a better neighborhood with a chance at a better life.  Truth is, only a very small percentage of ballplayers are even close to being ready for the NBA at age 19 no matter how good they are.  And the NBA "D" league is not where players are suppose to develop their skills.  They are suppose to develop in college while getting an education as a back up in case they don't make it to the pros, or if God forbid they get hurt.  Now we all know that there are players like Davis and Kidd-Gilcrest who are one in a million, but they are not the norm. Kentucky has had players like Morris and Ortin who left WAY to soon chasing the NBA dream. No doubt if they had it to do over again, they would have came back for at least one more year. With the population growing in America every year, more and more kids are going to get interested in sports.  That means every year there are going to be more and more hoop stars coming out of high school with dreams of playing in the NBA.  That also means that more colleges are going to have more great players to choose from.  And that means more players with coaches, family, agents and friends all giving them their input as to what their friend has to do to get into the NBA as soon as possible.  And I hope for their sakes its not a decision that's going to rob them of a free college education that is replaced with a glorious 3 years in the NBA D league playing in front of 200 raving fans hoping to "develop" their game and get picked back up.  Bottom line, I believe these kids are getting some very selfish advice from agents, coaches, and friends and family who are looking to cash in on a winning lottery ticket.  Lets start making education the first priority for these student athletes and I promise you, the NBA will still be there for them when they are ready. and them and the NBA will be the better for it.

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