Sorry Rick Pitino; Jeremy Tyler will not need your services in 2011. In fact, not only is the 6-foot-11 center bypassing Louisville to play in Europe, he's even skipping his senior year of high school.
I'm waiting for the day when a player jumps to pro basketball from the eighth grade, but for now we have Tyler, who's going pro before his junior prom. They grow up so fast. It's the first time an American basketball player has jumped to the pros before finishing high school. And what does Tyler's father think? Surely he'll stop this madness!
"It's just the old way of doing things and no one wants to swallow the pill of change. Basketball is an American sport and they want the kids to go through the channels. And I think there is so much money generated in collegiate sports that they don't want that interrupted. It's a double standard."
Tyler, who averaged 27 points per game his junior year at San Diego High School, had verbally committed to Louisville. But instead he'll play two years in Europe — most likely in Spain — get his high school GED on the Internet, and then enter the NBA draft. Coincidentally that was also my plan after my junior year, except that I was also going to be a British secret agent and/or a supermodel swimsuit photographer. Where did it all go wrong?
Tyler just wasn't looking forward to his senior year of high school.
"It was boring and I wasn't getting better," Tyler said. "Each game was the same thing. I was getting triple-teamed and getting hacked. After each game I'd have scratches and bruises up and down my arms from getting triple-teamed. It just wasn't for me."
But think of all that he'll miss. No Senior Cut Day, no scavenger hunt, no doing donuts in the parking lot on graduation day, no filling the language art teacher's car with fresh sod from the football field and rolling it into a creek (that last one may only apply to me).
Basketball Prospect Leaving High School To Play In Europe [New York Times]
Jeremy Tyler Goes Pro Before His Junior Prom [Money Players]