Should more NBA prospects play overseas instead of college? | The Tylt
Should more NBA prospects play overseas instead of college?
There is no doubt R.J. Hampton would've been a baller at the college level, but there is no point in wasting time on books if he doesn't have to. More players should look at playing overseas for a year, especially if the NCAA doesn't want to compensate its athletes.
Everyone knows most top prospects don't want to be in classes—college is just a necessary one-year pit stop before being where they really want to be. Forcing those players into that situation isn't doing either party any favors. A spot that could've gone to someone who wants an education is wasted and that player throws away a year he could've been making a lot of money.
Overseas should be a more widely considered option.
Making money instead of being stuck in a classroom might seem ideal, but the reality doesn't quite live up to the expectation. Brandon Jennings was an elite NBA prospect when he graduated high school and decided to play with Lottomatica Virtus Roma in Italy's top league Lega Serie A. While he did appreciate the experience, he ran into a lot of problems. Here's Jennings talking to Ray Glier of the New York Times:
I’ve gotten paid on time once this year. They treat me like I’m a little kid. They don’t see me as a man. If you get on a good team, you might not play a lot. Some nights you’ll play a lot; some nights you won’t play at all. That’s just how it is...
I don’t see too many kids doing it. It’s tough man, I’ll tell you that. It can break you.
If exposure is inconsistent, you'll have a tough time improving your draft stock. At least in college, there is a better shot for you to have more playing time.
While it may not be ideal, college is still the best option for top prospects.