On February 8 2017, located in that same decently sized classroom in the NPAC as I mentioned in my first blog post, our sports reporters class met as a group to go over the topic of college becoming a requirement for NBA and NFL players. It was a very interesting topic to be discussed and I was very impressed with how many people actually agreed with one another.
With this topic, I am split on what my opinion is of this discussion. I believe that college should be a requirement for NFL players, but for the NBA I say that the players have every right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to attend college.
I believe that high school football players who are standouts at their schools should absolutely attend college rather than going straight to the pros. Physically and mentally, high school football players would not be prepared for the NFL. According to highschoolsports.nj.com, only 0.08% of high school football players will be drafted into the NFL. That means eight of every 10,000 high school football players will eventually get their name called in the draft. That same article also mention that “one in every 16 players, or 6.5 percent, will play at the college level. That right there is the biggest reasoning why I believe college should be a requirement.
Why waste your talent trying to get into the NFL right away if you don’t even get looked at by any NFL scouts? Like the I said before, you have an eight in 10,000 chance to be a “destined” NFL player. That is a once in a lifetime shot that you are one of those eight. I personally feel that if you have a better shot at going to college, that is an option you should take. You can better your skills, you can get more muscle, and you can gain more knowledge about the game before you head into the pros, where you have players that have been playing for as long as that high schooler’s life.
Also, NFL scouts will contact you if they think that you are good enough to go to the pros. According to operations.nfl.com, it stated “For those players invited to participate, the combine is a chance to measure themselves against the best players in college and prove their value to scouts from all 32 teams.” The key word in that sentence is INVITED. If you’re good scouts will notice you. Just because your mom or dad think you’re the greatest player to ever set foot on this earth, does not mean that you could easily go up against a 27 year old linebacker who has been in the league for four years now, compared to your 18 year old four year letter winner, varsity starting linebacker self.
As for the NBA, I firmly believe that college should be an option for high school basketball players. According to an article from the chicagotribune.com, it said that arguably high school basketball players are the most skill ready to play professionally as soon as they graduate from their high school. If he’s not ready don’t draft him. Like I have mentioned before about the NFL, scouts are there to contact you if they think you are extremely talented to play at a higher level. That’s it. If they are not interested, they won’t draft you. You simply are not ready to play at a higher league…at that time.
Take LeBron James. As a senior in high school, he was 6’7 playing point guard. Yes, I said point guard. Usually you find that point guards are typically the shortest guys on the team, but you couldn’t hide James’ talent at that position. His freshman year of high school, he averaged 18 points a game and scored 25 in the Division III state title game. His sophomore year he was selected to the USA Today-All USA First team, becoming the first sophomore EVER to be considered for that award. James’ senior year of basketball, he averaged 31.6 points per game also leading his team to their third state title. According to biography.com, if you were surprised that LeBron James even considered not going to college to play basketball, you never have seen him play in person. He was that good.
In 2003, James’ entered into the draft and was picked number one in the first round. As an 18 year old, his game was being compared to Magic Johnson. Johnson is 25 years older than James.
Personally, if you are that good, the more power to you to head to the pros right away and start making millions of dollars that I will probably never even see with a college degree. However, if you don’t get noticed by the scouts, if you are truly dedicated to the sport and know that you are capable to have a shot at the pro level, go to college. Get better. Work on your game.
Guys like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Dwight Howard are all among the list of being the greatest NBA players of all time. The reason why their transition worked so well from high school to the NBA was because they were just that dedicated. They lived and breathed the sport. According to thisisyearone.com, this was how much Kobe wanted to succeed in the sport:
“Kobe Bryant’s work ethic is legendary. In high school, Bryant showed up at 5 a.m. and left practice at 7 p.m. Daily. Till date, he doesn’t leave the court until he sinks a couple hundred shots each day.
He even used to practice by himself, without a ball. In his book, former teammate Shaquille O’Neil wrote:
“You’d walk in there and [Kobe would] be cutting and grunting and motioning like he was dribbling and shooting — except there was no ball. I thought it was weird, but I’m pretty sure it helped him.”
Bryant counts all of his shots made in practice, and stops when he gets to 400.”
Overall, I think that college is really a choice when it comes down to NFL and the NBA players. If you are just flat out a dang good ball player, than you go for it. There is no reason to hold you back.
However, if the scouts aren’t calling you right away, take advantages of offers from colleges. Go to school for free. Get better at your game. Learn more about the game itself.