Trend Setter?…Hope Not!

Growing up playing a sport, we often dream of playing professionally in the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc…  In between growing up, and adulthood, is a span of time which one spends in college, before their dream is realized.  Not if you’re name is Brandon Jennings, who was seen as the #1 Prep Player coming into the 2008 basketball season, setting to play at the University of Arizona.  Jennings however, balked on his scholarship to Arizona, after telling USC that he wasn’t going to attend their institution as well.  Jennings decided to play overseas professionally for a year, and then enter the NBA Draft, which he will, Summer of 2009.  With College players unable to earn a significant wage while playing, Jennings was innovative in his decision, to earn both experience, and money, until his dream was realized.  Jennings was a unique talent, averaging 32.7 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 13.7 steals per game, for Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.  That stat line was enough to surround him with an enormous amount of hype, with a flamboyant personality to match, he was a can’t miss player.  While playing overseas, Jennings averaged less than 8 ppg, and 2 assists, in two Euro leagues.  From 33ppg to less than 8, one would have to wonder if that was a wise decision.  Despite the numbers, Jennings was able to earn a good amount of money, however, he gave up an opportunity to be seen by the fans, and will enter the draft, a virtual unknown.  Jennings would’ve been able to play for a historic program, and receive the notoriety, which his personality suits. 
While Jennings has been seen as a pioneer for this innovative decision.  The biggest impact he might have made, is a very negative one.  6 feet 9 inch big man high school junior, Jeremy Tyler, has decided to drop out of high school and play overseas, in preparation for the NBA.  Currently, the league requires a player to be 19 years of age, and at least one year removed from high school.  Tyler, 17, will look to spend 2 years overseas to, “get better,” then enter the league.  He currently ranks as the #2 player at his position, and 6th best Jr, according to Scouts Inc.  Tyler had previously committed to Louisville, but will pursue his dreams in Europe.  I am hoping the NBA comes up with a ruling that will keep this young man out of the association.  Tyler is following Jennings’ footsteps, and earning some money, while not playing for free in a collegiate program.  Tyler will attempt to enter the league, without obtaining a high school diploma!  I’m hoping Jennings can step in, and encourage this young man to re-think what he’s about to do.  Although, I can’t imagine David Stern giving the green light to a player, without a high school diploma.  But then again, any-thing’s possible.
4 Responses to “Trend Setter?…Hope Not!”
  1. Davermann says:

    very big mistake. This dude will have absolutely NO life preparation. How bad are this kid’s grades that he’d do something so stupid? And where are his parents??

  2. Marcus says:

    It’s no secret as to why his ppg and other stats dropped so dramatically. HE NEEDED TO HONE HIS SKILLS! Very few players can smoothly transition from HS to NBA with no problem. The rest need college in order to improve their skill set and get use to playing at the next level. Anyone can dominate in HS bball, but college is FULL of ppl that dominated in HS bball. The NBA is full of ppl that dominated at both the HS and College levels. Jennings went straight from HS to the European version of the NBA. It’s my understanding that he probably thought, “Oh Americans can out ball this Euro dudes any day…this will be a piece of cake!” Clearly he hasn’t noticed the trend of the NBA seeking out Euro players (who come over here and do very well), nor has he seen the olympics lately. If he did he’d notice that the Euro players are actually damn good and give us a run for our money. While their game isn’t as flashy as ours, they are solid on the fundamentals of bball…skills that jennings lacks. I sincerely hope this new boy gets trashed over there too! The NBA needs to figure out a way to encourage our young black men to go to COLLEGE before pursuing the NBA. As you see with jennings, not all of these dudes are NBA worthy and it would help to have a college education to fall back on. The Lebron James’ of the game are rare. Most men have to be like Jordan…Go from HS, to College to the NBA, busting their asses day after day perfecting their skill set in order to become great at the next level. Ppl need to realize there is no short cut to success.

  3. Stefano says:

    The biggest problem I have with this Kid’s move is the fact that he didn’t finish HS. If he waited one year, finished his education then went over, I would be all in favor of this move. On the flip side:If he is planning to attend high school over there and finish his education, while also getting a jump start on perfecting his fundamentals then in two years he will be on pace with Jennings if not more fundamentally sound. But we don’t know what his plans are, or if he even has any plans besides balling and getting paid. When Jennings went over, he took his mom to stabilize his life and so he hasn’t really had to deal with real life outside the court which is a great thing for his personal development. Yeah, his game took a few hits, but in the long run he will more than make up for that and the fact that he is playing in europe and on contract means that if he goes low or doesn’t see his stock rise then he can always stay over there and play, learn and come back when he can command a higher salary.

  4. Q_Crush says:

    he is going over with his uncle and his father and he plans on being home schooled to obtain his high school diploma.

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