By Jack B.
Currently, high school basketball players can’t be drafted into the NBA. To be drafted in the NBA Draft, a player must be at least 19 years of age and at least one year removed from high school. Many recruits choose to play on NCAA teams, while some chose to play professionally in countries like Italy or China before declaring for the NBA Draft. Currently, a projected top 3 pick in the NBA draft is Emmanuel Mudiay. After high school Emmanuel went to China to play in the CBA. Another player currently in the NBA who went to Europe for a year is Brandon Jennings. He played professionally in Italy for a year after high school, then got drafted into the NBA.
There are many opinions on this issue. Some coaches, such as Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari, whose programs are beneficiaries of star freshmen, are all for this saying that it allows players to grow more and get used to playing harder competition. The NBA life is much different than high school. Other coaches, like Rick Pitino of Louisville University, are against this rule, arguing that “College is not for everybody, so if a kid doesn’t want to go to college, let him go to the pros. Let him go into the [D-League]. And if someone does want to go to college, let them go. We’re still going to have great basketball teams.”
Another coach, Bo Ryan of Wisconsin University, is against the one-and-done rule, he thinks that kids should stay in college for longer than one year. His national finalist team this year was composed of mainly seniors and juniors. His team lost to Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, whose freshman scored 60 of Duke’s 68 points in the championship game. Duke was led by freshmen stars Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, who are projected to go 2nd (Okafor) and somewhere in the early teens (Winslow). After the game Bo Ryan said, “We don’t do rent a player.”
Clearly he was frustrated with the fact that most of the players on top programs Duke and Kentucky, only go to a school for one year, then ditch and go straight to the NBA. This year Kentucky went 38-0, before losing to Wisconsin in the semi-finals. Their team was led by many star freshmen, including Karl-Anthony Towns, who is projected to go 1st overall in the upcoming NBA Draft.
My opinion is that top recruits should be allowed to go pro. If someone wants to be a musician we don’t make them go to college. Why do we make basketball players go to college? The NBA is forcing kids to forfeit a year of NBA play and go play college ball. In college there is a risk to suffer serious injuries that could end their chance of playing to the best of their ability in the NBA. NCAA athletes are not paid, whereas good NBA players are paid quite handsomely.
Many NBA players have been drafted out of high school, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, two of the greatest players of our generation. Some recruits are ready to go to pro right out of high school. If a kid is ready to go to the NBA, why not let him? Hopefully when the NBA and Players Union meet again in 2017 to discuss a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), they decide once again that high school recruits can be drafted straight from high school into the NBA.