While I encourage most basketball players to go to college and advance their education to the next level, those special individuals whose athletic ability gives them the opportunity to provide for themselves and compete at the highest level should not be denied the opportunity based the current requirement that players must be 19 years old to play for the NBA. High school basketball players should be mature enough to make their own decisions about their career paths, so the NBA shouldn't deny them. Furthermore, other sports have employed teenagers for years with success.
The US Army begins recruitment at 18. That means the US government believes that 18-year-olds are mature enough to decide whether they want to risk their lives to defend their country. If a high school athlete has the talent and the marketplace is demanding his or her talent, why should he not be allowed to enter the NBA? The same marketplace that would give these players these contracts are the same marketplaces that would tear up the same contracts if these players were to get hurt in college. It should be the player's choice if he or she wants to go to college or straight to the NBA. Now the NBA league officials increased the age limit to 19 years old so that the potential players could see how it is to live with responsibilities before entering the NBA. The players would have an opportunity to explore possible careers while attending college. In the 2003 NBA season, Lebron James was the number one draft pick at the age of eighteen. A lot of basketball critics held him in high regard even before he was drafted. For the first few seasons in his NBA career, James averaged 20 points a game and 6 assists. The team chose James as their team leader. His maturity and unselfishness was showcased on and off the court. So the NBA should not deny other athletes like James the chance to live their dreams.
Many other sports such as baseball, hockey and tennis have employed teenagers...
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