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June 22, 2008
by Robbie Gillies
When David Stern implemented an age-minimum to enter the NBA, one of the reasons was for kids to go to college and get an education. OK, not really, but I'm sure that is one of the things they said to justify it. It was more a deal that provided College Basketball with stars for at least one year that colleges could exploit and would hopefully provide a more polished and mature player for the NBA.
Well, McDonald's All-American Brandon Jennings might have found a way around the system. ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that Jennings is mulling playing professionally in Europe for a season until he is eligible for the NBA Draft. Jennings had committed to Arizona, but might not be eligible pending his latest standardized test scores. Jennings would prefer to go to Arizona and develop there, but he's not ruling out the option of playing in Europe. Jennings is looking at this situation as most kids with his talent do. They realize this is a business and they are trying to prepare themselves the best they can for the NBA. It's not about a scholastic education and maybe a year in Europe would be more beneficial than a year in college.
This could start a new trend of these talented High School stars graduating and heading overseas. It could be the best of both worlds for these kids. They can learn about the game overseas and gain a different perspective than they would in the US and they would get paid to do so. If this trend does continue, look for the NBA to drop their minimum age requirements to keep the next generation of NBA stars from taking their talents across the Atlantic.