Posted by: Kingsguru21 | March 18, 2009

High School players may leave High School early to play in Europe?

I was reading this article in Atlantic Monthly, and a big hat tip goes to Henry Abbott of True Hoop, about potentially a High School player leaving High School early to play in Europe. First, an excerpt:

Over the past year, the families of several high-school seniors have contacted Vaccaro about the European option, he said, and he has identified eight underclassmen, some as young as freshmen, “who are interested when the time comes.” This year or next year, Vaccaro predicted, a player will turn pro and head to Europe after his junior year of high school.

Wow, are players considering this for real? And if so, why aren’t their parents stopping them? (It probably says more about the parent than it does the child when considering an option such as this.) It’s one thing to be like Brandon Jennings and not be eligible for the NCAA when you’re planning to be one & done anyway. It’s quite another to leave HS early to go over to Europe. One last quote:

Elite teams in Europe’s top leagues—in Italy, Spain, Russia, Greece—are considered a notch below the NBA but a full cut above the NCAA’s best. The players are grown men, many of them veterans of top U.S. college programs and the NBA. Coaches are hardened tacticians, practices are grueling, and systems of play are complex. Games are more physical than in the NCAA, and seasons are twice as long. NBA scouts pack top contests. “In Europe, they don’t baby you,” said Sonny Vaccaro, who brokered Jennings’s tryout and signing. “You get beat up, sworn at, kicked out of practice. If your character can hold up, you win.”

Seriously, if these kids can’t handle what their coaches are saying at 17 years old, how are they going to handle what a pro coach who is paid to win, and not worry about an education of a young man, like a high school coach, then how are these kids going to survive? I think Sonny Vaccaro has earned the right to speak his mind about whether kids should have the right to be paid about basketball. I think his point about the hypocrisy the NBA and NCAA have in this issue has a lot of merit too. At some point doesn’t common sense play into being a parent?

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  1. […] heels when I openly wondered what parent would do so. I promptly did a 180, and am happy to do so. Being a hypocrite is not something I particularly […]


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