Posted on: April 23, 2009 11:28 am

Jeremy Tyler foregoing sr year (of hs)

High school Jr. and Louisville recruit Jeremy Tyler has decided the time is now, he's going pro.  Now the mean NBA won't let him play because his is a child (legally), so he is going to have to play in Europe for at least 2 years before he can be eligible for the NBA.

I understand Tyler wants $$ now and doesn't want to risk something going wrong (injury, etc.), so i do really understand his arguement.  and i am mad that he was a U of L recruit and has decided to do this.  but i think the real discussion should be about a 17 year old kid being given big bucks (probably 6 figures per year for 2 years) to quit high school.  i know we live in a society that (at least in terms of salaries) values athletes over doctors/teachers/clergy and about a million other professions that impact lives in more important ways, but there is something really wrong about this situation i feel like i can't fully put into words.

If Tyler lived up to his hype he would have been a one and done.  A problem with that is his hype--says he is a god.  He was the #1 recruit in his class, so was Samardo Samuels.  Samardo had a great freshman year last year, but i really think some recruits (eyeing NBA $$$$) might consider Samardo (and maybe Louisville by extension) a failure because he will be back for a sophmore year. 

I would honestly rather high school phenoms go to the NBA or Europe instead of be a one and done.  But i have to wonder about a 16 or 17 year old from San Diego moving to Europe and handing him more money than i will see in 10 years.  Tyler won' t make 20 mil next year but he will probably get 500k or so.  Think about when you were 16, what would you do with $500,000, no responsibilities and mom and dad literally 7,000 miles away?  (I doubt it would matter to someone as rich as Tyler will be, but i don't think there is a legal drinking age in Spain, or most European countries) 

I work with HS juniors everyday and let me assure you things haven't changed since you were that age.  If anything teenagers now are more dependent on others then the teenagers a generation ago. 

Tyler is going to have to become a man (on and off the court), if he acts like a teenager he will never make it to the NBA.  So this really is a gamble.  He is too young to remember but LeBron James and Kobe Bryant were not the only high schoolers who went pro and not all of those stories turn out the way he might think. 

Any baseball fans remember Darryl Strawberry?  He was an 18 year old from the wrong side of the tracks who skipped college all together to play pro baseball, went to NYC and was one of the greatest power hitters of his day, but he hadn't matured off the field and got into drugs, and is now seen as one of the greatest busts in sports history.  Think of what Strawberry could have done without drugs (a conservative estimate=550-600 career home runs, and a spot in Cooperstown) instead of spending the late 90s and 00s in the World Series and All-Star games, he was in and out of rehab and jail.

Maybe Tyler is super mature (saintly even) does anyone remember Shawn Bradley?  He had the talent (#2 pick in the '93 NBA draft-ahead of Penny Hardaway, Jamaal Mashburn, JR Rider, Calbert Chaney, Bobby Hurley and Allan Houston) even took a year off from basketball to do mission work but he didn't pan out, best i remember he left college 2 years early.  He like Strawberry probably made some big bucks, but if he took the time to get everything together think of what could have been.

I'm not wishing Tyler ill, but i don't think he realizes how big of a gamble he is taking, if he isn't the greatest player in the history of European basketball in 2 years, the NBA won't be knocking down his door.  And god forbid, if he gets injured McDonalds won't even want him, not to play in the all-american game, but to flip burgers.

Category: NCAAB
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