Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I guess this should come as no surprise. Here's an article about two eighth graders (!!) who are attending this weeks NIKE All-Star camp. These camps are to help college coaches and recruiters (not to mention NBA scouts) evaluate high school basketball players and judge their level of talent. One is a fairly normal sized 5'8" 151lb guard who played varsity basketball and was selected first team All-State in Louisiana last year. The other is--fasten your seat belts-- 6'9" 286 lbs!!! He's one of the biggest players at the camp...period.

I know that this kind of thing is inevitable, but I find it disturbing. These kids are so young, and they're already being catered to by NIKE, Top-flight Division I programs (Tom Izzo, head coach at Michigan State admits that he's recruited both sixth and seventh graders!!), and even NBA scouts. Could I have handled that at age 14, preparing to enter my freshman year of high school? I don't think so. Would you do your homework, if Michigan State's Coach Izzo was sending you mail on a weekly basis and calling you on the phone from time to time? I had enough trouble doing my homework as it was.

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