When In Rome: Brandon Jennings

Shane YeoContributor INovember 12, 2008

European basketball is becoming more competitive and illustrious for the players who now live the life of fame and fortune.

Lately, the Euroleague has been offering NBA players the opportunity to travel overseas to play basketball. European teams have gone as far as to promise Villas on the Mediterranean Sea, yachts, and offering to pay the taxes of some players' salary. Such a glamorous offer was proposed to Kobe Bryant and accepted by former Atlanta Hawks forward, Josh Childress.

NBA players aren't the only ones headed over seas though.

In 2006, the NBA set an age deadline which stated that a player must be at least 19 years old before the beginning of the draft to be considered. So as players outplay their college peers and rise above competition with ease waiting for their eligibility, Brandon Jennings made a bold decision.

Brandon Jennings played his first two years of high school at Dominguez High School in Compton, California. He transferred to the basketball famous school, Oak Hill Academy in Virgina, who's alumni consists of Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Stephen Jackson, Jerry Stackhouse, Josh Smith, and Kevin Durant among others.

Jennings averaged 35.5 points, 7.5 assists, five rebounds, and four steals per game in his senior year. Such statistics helped him earn the prestigious 2008 Naismith High School Basketball Player award.

Jennings made a verbal commitment to the USC Trojans before changing his mind to play for the Arizona Wildcats. But Jennings eventually bowed out of that decision as well, as the Wildcats saw shooting guard Jerryd Bayless join the NBA, and head coach Lute Olson retire.

Brandon Jennings made the decision to be the first American to skip college in exchange for playing in Europe.

Jennings decided that making a little money and gaining more experience would be good to help him excel and prepare him for the NBA. Jennings joined Pallacanestro Virtus Roma in Rome, Italy and has mentioned that he is learning how to run a team with more flow and ease than he did in high school.

Jennings looks to be the top point guard in the upcoming NBA draft.

He has speed, athleticism, vision, and truly knows the point guard position. Brandon Jennings will create offense for everyone, and is a true competitor that will never back down.

But has he created a trend for future high school graduates? Only time will tell.