Stefan Fatsis of THE ATLANTIC has a recent piece on New York high school basketball prospect Lance Stephenson. In the treatment, Fatsis explores the possibility of Stephenson going to play in Europe instead of heading to college - like Brandon Jennings.
(Already well-prepared for fundamentally-sound, team-oriented Euroleague!)
Buried in the piece though is a much more intriguing prospect I haven’t yet heard discussed.
This year or next year, (Sonny) Vaccaro predicted, a player will turn pro and head to Europe after his junior year of high school.
If that seems like one more sign of the basketball apocalypse, consider that many of the Europeans who populate NBA rosters began playing professionally as young as 14.
I’m all for someone having the freedom of choice, but should a high school junior really be making that sort of decision?
This whole high schoolers-to-Europe thing smells of opportunism. In the piece about Stephenson, his father makes it plain that his son should go pro any way he can - instead of considering college. Gee, what’s the odds dear ol’ dad quits his job when the kid goes pro and
sponges of his earnings moves in with him to provide *emotional support*.
Meanwhile, rapidly-fossilizing sneaker huckster Vaccaro is pushing these kids to eschew an NCAA system that he now calls hypocritical for its treatment of athletes as unpaid amateurs. This despite the fact that those same member schools made him rich and famous (to some) during his days at the sneaker companies. (Never mind that these kids usually fail in their attempt to make the pros and end up social cripples. Thanks Sonny!)
What’s next, (racist) high school females prancing around in provocative outfits as NFL cheerleaders? Oh, wait.