A High School Player Going Pro?

Jerry FrasierContributor IApril 23, 2009

Jeremy Tyler, a junior on the basketball team at San Diego high school, has decided to play professionally instead of continuing his high school career. Tyler is 6-foot-11, 260 pounds and is considered by many to be the best high school junior player in the nation.

Instead Tyler has decided to skip his senior year in high school to play professional basketball in Europe.

Tyler is a for sure a future NBA star who was already committed to attend and play for Louisville in two years.

Instead he will be moving to Europe and more than likely will be playing for a team in Spain, Israel, or Italy, and he will receive a contract of several hundred thousands of dollars. More than most adult Americans make in several years.

Tyler says this in an interview with Yahoo! Sports,

“I know I can do great things with my talent. My goal in life is to get better. Playing with the pro guys will get me a lot better faster. It will help me fulfill my dreams of playing in the NBA.” He can surly do a lot with his talent, but is the best idea to go to Europe and skip a year of high school and a year in college?

When Tyler goes to Europe it is almost certain that he will improve, but there are what ifs and could be negative effects. What if Tyler injures himself trying to keep up with the older veteran European players? What if Jeremy Tyler gets dominated by the bigger, older, stronger players? Will it affect his confidence? What if Tyler doesn’t make it in the NBA?

Tyler would be better off staying in the states for two years until he is old enough for the NBA draft. If Tyler is injured their while trying to keep up with European talent, it could end his career.

While if he is playing with college and high school kids that he is better than there is less of a chance that he is injured. If Tyler’s attempt at bettering himself fails, he may lose all confidence, he would never make it in the NBA. Lastly what if he doesn’t make it in the NBA, he doesn’t even have a high school diploma to fall back on.

Jeremy Tyler will move to Europe in an attempt to better himself. There are undoubtedly other ways to improve other than moving to Europe.  He could move to a better basketball high school such as Oak Hill.

And certainly at Louisville he would receive great coaching that would prepare him for the NBA better than in Europe. Rick Pitino and the rest of the coaching staff would give him most their attention as their star player, but instead in Europe he will receive less attention from coaches.

In Europe there is a greatly different playing style where big men step out and shoot. Not many big men shooters in the NBA excel, while many big men who are able to pound bodies in the paint do. If European coaches groom him into a shooter, will he be effective in the NBA?

In the end the question is, is it really worth going to Europe? No, it's not. Jeremy Tyler is not better off going to Europe instead of playing college ball. Let’s hope Tyler does not start a new trend for high school players because it could change both the NCAA and the NBA forever if he does.

(Photo courtesy Kelly Kline)