Friday, September 6, 2013

Chase the Dream - But Catch an Education

There is a high school kid somewhere putting countless hours in the gym, working to become a better basketball player to live his dream of playing in the NBA. He has excelled among his peers throughout his adolescent life. For the most part everything he has done in life has been centered around basketball. His academics are in good standards due to the fact he has to meet certain requirements to play basketball in college. Along the way he has learned life lessons such as leadership, team work, and confidence. It seems as though he is ready to become a student-athlete at the next level, or is he?

Here is where reality sets in. You enter college with the thought of playing on the big stage in front of thousands of people and being a super star. Basketball doesn't go as well as you thought. You say to yourself "This can't be happening to me. I have put in so much work on my game." That may be true, but so has everyone else who wants to play at that level. You attend college to get an education. Sports can help get you there and provide you with great memories. If you approach your academics with the same energy as the court, the sky will be the limit.

The big picture here is that education will afford you security and provide you with options. Make academics priority number one. I was fortunate to make a living playing basketball for twelve years. So I'm not telling you to give up on your dream, but keep things in perspective.Where many kids go wrong is once they get to college they lose sight of the academics and become an athlete first and a student somewhere else down the line. What a lot of college basketball players don't know or understand is that there are 30 teams in the NBA and they can carry as few as 12 and as many as 15 players on a team. Which makes it only 360-450 spots available and millions of guys are competing for those jobs. Only 1% of college basketball players make it to the NBA. Then there are the European Leagues. If you are not at least a second round pick of the NBA draft, you will have to prove yourself and work your way up the ladder. This could mean playing for very little money and living in harsh conditions for a few years. Enjoy playing basketball. It's a great game. Take your academics seriously. It will take you further than you could ever imagine.

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