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The Road Less Traveled

It seems like only yesterday when I wrote my last article on the BET awards…my  how time flies!  One thing I can say about the BET awards….they will dig in the crates and dust off an old school group.  Did you see En Vogue and SWV?  I don’t know where they found Lisa Lisa, but obviously Cult Jam did not make the flight!  I initially was going to blog about the BET Awards 08 because while a lot of the performances were good (the aforementioned En Vogue/SWV dust off for starters), there was a lot of foolishness sprinkled in there too.  I was pleased with the Al Green tribute (and not just because my other Boo, Maxwell, came out and performed my favorite Al Green song).  I decided against a full BET blog when I realized that I’ve pretty much outgrown BET.  I hate to admit it, especially because I love hip hop, but I think I am a little mature for the likes of Lil Wayne, and Souljah Boy.    Rather than go through a blow by blow of last nights show (which by most accounts was not that memorable), I’ve decided to post about something a little more age appropriate and relevant.  The road less traveled……

If you read my post last week, you know I am a sports fan.  With the NBA draft fast approaching, and SAT scores looming for high school graduates the quandary of Brandon Jennings is interesting to me.  Basically he graduated from high school this year ranked as one of the top five basketball players in the country, but NBA rules prohibit him from entering the draft (you must be out of high school for one year before you can be in the NBA).  With my love of March Madness, I’d love to see him take a team to the final four, but first he has to qualify for NCAA sports…..hence the quandary.

From what I hear, Jennings is no scholastic prodigy.  Knowing that, he’s considering playing in Europe for a year, or sitting out all together and working with trainers.  (Either way he’d be eligible for the draft next year.) Why waste a year “pretending” to go to class, when you can be making money doing what you really want to do? I have long said college athletes should be paid.  These schools rake in millions from televised games and alumni.  Yes the kids get scholarships, but they aren’t allowed to work.  Some say they get money under the table blah blah blah, but when you compare that to what the schools earn…..it seems a little lopsided.  Is the road less traveled a better option?

Most college bound athlete’s dream of going to the pro’s.  They attend schools that have programs that will boost their chances of a professional career.  Many star college athletes don’t even plan to finish….it’s just a waiting game until the right agent comes along and tells them a pro team is interested.  As a parent, do you encourage your child to take the road less traveled, or do you pump up the virtues of a good education.  Let me re-phrase that…..if you knew your child was capable of making millions starting in a couple of months, would you tell him to get an education first?  Hold that thought…..

Apparently Jennings has discussed this with his mom and they are weighing their options.  He told The New York Times “For a person that plays ball, our dream is to get to the NBA. Our real mind-set is that we’re trying to get to the league, take care of our families. They’re making us do college … I told my mom that (going to Europe) was something we should look into.  So let’s say you have a child with talent and a dream.  Do you encourage him to follow his dream or get an education?  If his dream was building the worlds tallest popsicle stick tower do you encourage that, or drop him off at State U?  If his dream could put you in a mansion and pay off your credit card debt, do you send him to Europe and pray he doesn’t get injured?

If you want to be a doctor, or a Human Resources Administrator a college degree is kind of important, but does a degree equal longevity in professional sports?  I don’t know if the NBA was looking out for the kids when they enacted this one year rule, but I guess a year of college is better than no college at all.  I’m sure David Stern (whom I can’t stand), was not expecting a crafty Brandon Jennings to come along and create an alternate route, but if this was your kid, or your situation what would you do? Is the road less traveled worth it if big money is waiting at the end of that road?



June 25, 2008 - Posted by | News, Opinion, Sports


  1. Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

    Comment by Aaron Wakling | June 25, 2008

  2. My advice would be “Baby, go to Europe & play ball for a year so that you can get paid. In the interim, you and Mama will take online Business Mgmnt/Accounting classes so that we can be prepared to make good business decisions when the big money comes next year”!!! :-))

    Comment by Shangazi | June 26, 2008

  3. After living and seeing how things go– i would tell my child to go after their dreams popsicle stand or not. Life is about chances and is too short worrying about woulda coulda shoulda (Especially because I feel that I have been very timid when jumping on once in a lifetime chances–that passed me by). Mike said it best: Just do it! Besides it is NEVER too late for a new beginning. Momma need help will her bills, can’t be a hey mon forever!

    Comment by Irving on the Crest | June 26, 2008

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