When you consider true basketball stars like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant who skipped the college circuit to play professional basketball, we often wonder what basketball would be like had they waited 3 or 4 years before going pro. There is a lot to learn about one’s self when choosing either path. Star athletes only consider one thing when deciding whether they go to college or not. Will the money still be there if they go through college? Although money is important, it is not nearly as important as the next question concerning college.
What if a star athlete should suffer a career-breaking injury within the first few years into their professional career? What do they have to fall back on? Ultimately they would spend time recovering from their injury and may not have the same level of athleticism afterwords. What happens then? The star athlete recovers and they are put in the minor leagues to ensure they are healthy enough, or they get lucky and didn’t sustain a bad enough injury to be on the injured list and get back into the game.
Why would a star athlete pass up a free college education to have a backup plan? Not only a backup plan but a chance to learn about society and worldly knowledge. There is possibly an educational career that an athlete has considered they like doing. And to develop their athletic skills while still getting educated on a backup degree would give the athlete options, should a nasty career killing injury occur.
Some sports are not as injury prone as others and would be easy to choose between college or career. Or maybe there are sports where team competition isn’t involved. My advise would stay the same to those who consider going pro at 18. Why not get to know some people in your profession in college? That’s how friendships and strong bonds are created. Going into pro career, you only have high school experience with working as a team. Going from high school sports to pro leaves a huge gap in conditioning and honing certain skills.
There are some athletes who will continue to pass up the education and make the big bucks. Some will not have to worry about injury and will continue to be stars. The others who took the college path have made a wise decision in becoming educated and knowledgeable with other subjects.