Friday, May 9, 2008

When Is Too Young?

12y/o Wunda Kid, Michael Avery

In the USA a eighth grader has been offered a scholarship to Kentucky! A university and the kid has not spent a day in high school yet.

These are the times we live in and nothing really surprises me anymore, but what would you do if this was your child?

I'm a proud parent of three kids and already the eldest thinks he will be a dual sportsman and he is only seven. It is great for kids to have these dreams and aspirations at such a young age because it gives them something to strive for over time.

Accepting a scholarship at a major university before you have even stepped foot into high school, I don't think so.

It is great that Michael Avery has begun receiving such interest but a lot of water has to run under his bridge before college comes around.

As a parent what would I do?

I would let my son know that this is a very flattering situation but you are a long way off college still and a lot of things can change and come into play. If the child's basketball keeps developing Kentucky will always be there waiting. They will not go anywhere so when the time is right to commit, you accept the scholarship.

The way college sport is these days the situation you are committing to now may change numerous times before you enter your dorm room. The coach that you think you will be playing for may have moved on.

Think of the taunting your child will be greeted with every time he goes near a basketball during his high school days. By making a commitment to a university you are putting a huge bullseye on the child. This is something they can do without during those impressionable teenage years. Your "wunda kid" will be expected to produce the goods everytime he steps on the court because he is that "kid" going to Kentucky.

Last but not least, what about the child's overall feelings about this. The child may just be enjoying the sport with his friends or it is a social activity more then anything. Remember, this child is only 12.
I can hear some parents saying, "my child lives and breathes the sport". I have at least one of those and maybe more so I feel this should be an easy "sell" to the kid.

By committing to one place you are closing the door on a lot of other potential options down the track. If you are that good the door will always be open.

Oh how easy it is to sit here and write this when the real situation is not you. When it is your child in a great and exciting situation such as this, emotion will play a part in it all. That is what you have to be able to alleviate.

I just hope if my family has a decision to make such as this wise heads will prevail.

For anyone that does not know about Kentucky basketball, it would be like comparing a rugby league kid being recruited by the Broncos. An opportunity that you dream of.

NBA News:
Celtics have LeBron in cuffs. Paul and Parker go at it. Kobe unanimous. Fisher is the glue! 23c pizzas. D'Antoni striking while the irons hot. Did Dunlap make the right move?

Sir Charles Gets Setup


Anonymous said...

Wasn't it just a verbal commitment? I thought thats all it was. If that was the case then he doesn't have to put up with the hassle of hundreds of colleges trying to ink his nme whilst he can just play - although i agree its still too early...

John Rillie said...

Just a verbal as he cannot sign a Letter of Intent until his high schoold years.

Who knows what shape Kentucky will be in though. Changes happen pretty regularly these days.

I just like to keep my options open.