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I came across a human interest sports story a few moment ago worthy of blogging. A San Diego high school junior is so "bored" with his current level of competition he decided to become the first American player to drop out and sign a $140,000 one year professional contract with a foreign team.
Jeremy Tyler (6-11, 260lbs) has been signed to play in Israel's Premier League with Maccabi Haifa. He found high school play extremely boring because of constant triple teams game after game and decided to turn pro. Tyler averaged 28.7 points per game last season and his goal is to become one of the greatest players ever. Isn't this every kids dream? To become the best.
I've never seen this kid play, not even highlights. Is opting out of high school in his best interests? He'll be playing in a pro league with skilled players. A far cry from high school players half his size with half the smarts. He wants to play against men to prove his worth. He'll get his shot playing against men far more mentally challenging. His big frame will be challenged often. Tyler expects to gain pro experience playing for Maccabi before returning in hopes of being drafted by an NBA team in 2011.
There are two ways to gauge this story. 1) He's either the next natural superstar in the making... or... 2) He's flat out foolish giving up a diploma to get pounded night after night by men just as, if not more, physical and experienced. I'll stick with #2 for now. If Jeremy is as good as he believes in his own mind then why blow a free ride towards stardom? He's obviously a dominant force on a high school level with natural abilities to score 28.7 ppg against triple teams (even if they're half his size). I hope he proves me wrong and is the real deal. It's one heck of a risk to take. If he gets clipped and injured, his stock will drop dramatically. Then again, "winners" always go for it. If Tyler is truly a natural then more power to him.
According to Maccabi's team website... "Tyler's size and natural talent will present matchup problems in our favor against other teams in Israel," said Coach Avi Ashkenazi. "We know Tyler is hungry to prove himself on the court. We look forward to him developing over the course of the season and improving our team."
If it's experience Tyler seeks, he's about to get it in a hurry. Last season Maccabi Haifa played in their first Premier League Championship Game and State League Finals. Training camp begins at the end of this month. He'll be playing with former USA college players and the reigning MVP of the Puerto Rican League.
I'll be keeping a close eye on this story. The Premier League begins play in October. Good luck kid. It would be great seeing the next true natural star live up to his dream of becoming the best.
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