Effects of Sports on Education

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NBA 101: College or Bu$t

Labron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kwame Brown, Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant; what do they all have in common? They are young men who were drafted straight out of high school to play basketball for the National Basketball Association (NBA). A new trend has begun over the past 11 years in the NBA that started when Kevin Garnett graduated Farragut Academy in 1995 to play professional basketball with the Minnesota Timberwolves. These young men are not mentally, physically, socially or educationally ready for the responsibility of playing in the NBA; however, this opinion is not shared by all especially when money is an issue.

Brian Hindo, a writer for Business Week, published an article on June 24, 2003, The NBA’s Youth Squad, where he supports the NBA’s decision to draft high school students. He believes that high school students are easily wooed into skipping college to join the NBA with guaranteed millions to be earned in their playing contracts and in other unseen endorsements (Rottenburg, 634). It is true! “A player who jumps into the NBA after high school can add as much as $100 million to his career earnings” (Rottenburg, 635). That is a lot of money to turn down, I can see why it is easy to woo a potential star into the NBA so early, but they are not ready. College prepares these young men for the transition into the professional arena.

Post secondary education not only provides the educational developmental skills necessary to succeed in the grueling business of the NBA, but it also provides essential time for growth and development as an athlete and as a socially apt male. These young men are placed into a public business world, where every last detail of their lives is subject to popular approval. Some of these high school graduates are not ready for that immense responsibility. A former high school draftee, Leon Smith, was drafted to play for the Dallas Mavericks, attempted suicide shortly after being drafted (Rottenburg,...
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