By Sullivan Burgess ’20
High school basketball players who are highly ranked and have the potential to become part of the NBA are given the choice to take their talents overseas to be paid to play, or to simply go to college. Ultimately, the best option for these players is to remain in the United States and go to college after their high school careers.
While for some players, the one-and-done option is appealing so they can simply go straight to the professional league, there are still plenty that consider the advantages of what a college experience can give to a player.
First and foremost is an education. A college program in the United States can give these athletes the proper tools they need to further their lives beyond the game of basketball. An education can provide the players with benfits far beyond those that any athlete can receive. These include the presence of professors at certain top tier schools, the ability to access the latest technology, and even the access to on-campus academic reasources.
Second, players can become associated with the booster clubs of the schools and develop connections where they meet agents and financial advisors who will help them have financial security during and after their careers.
When looking at some of the best players in the NBA, one notices the trend of All-Stars entering the league straight out of the NCAA, whereas some of the players who are coming from overseas often do not have the talent to stay on an NBA roster. These players include Brandon Jennings as well as Emmanuel Mudiay. On the other hand, players from college develop professional skills in the NCAA, which allows for a smooth transition into the NBA. Since much of the top-tier talent in college goes onto the NBA, college basketball is a much better indicator for who will succeed at the next level.
Last but certainly not least, nothing beats the school spirit the players embrace on campus, especially at schools such as Providence College, where everyone knows everyone, and students develop personal connections to the players. Players who choose to go overseas rather than to college miss out on the education and personal relationships NCAA players receive.