Jeremy Tyler Leaving High School Early To Play Basketball In Europe
HS Basketball

The Curious Case of Jeremy Tyler, Who Is Skipping His Senior Year Of High School To Play In Europe

7/12/09 in HS Basketball   |   chuckieh   |   2 respect

Editor's note: Chuck Hanf normally writes over at Two Cents From Beantown, which is obviously a Boston-based sports blog, and is one of the regular reads for one of the FanIQ editors. You can probably guess which one. If you like what you see here, check out his blog. It's worth it.

Have any of you heard about the curious case of Jeremy Tyler? If not, I'm here to fill you in on him today. I wish the young man good luck in his endeavor but I flat out don't agree with what he, and most of all his parents, are doing.

Tyler just finished his junior year of High School at San Diego High, and had previously verbally committed to Rick Pitino at Louisville. That was then, but now he is attempting to become the first American player to leave High School prematurely and play professionally overseas in Europe. He most likely would be playing in Spain. For those of you that don't know, you have to be 'one year removed' from High School to be eligible to enter the NBA Draft. So after you graduate, you can either go to college for a year or you can play elsewhere, but you can not enter the draft right after graduation. In Tyler's case he will be skipping his senior year so he will play two years professionally in Europe and then come back to the U.S. and enter the draft where he is expected to be a top 5 pick. He is a dominating 6'11" post player who is expected to be a perennial NBA All Star, according to Sonny Vaccaro, a former executive for sneaker company Nike. Vaccaro has 'helped' guide Tyler and his family through this situation. What a guy! He is also the man who signed Michael Jordan to Nike in early stages of Jordan's career. Pardon me, but if I'm being advised and 'helped' by Sonny Vaccaro on a huge decision that has to be made on my son's future, I'd be a little skeptical as to what Vacaro's main interests are in this situation, wouldn't you?

Here's my take on it all: Finish High School Jeremy.. Yeah, you're getting triple teamed and hacked by your opponents who every game try to take you out of the equation because of your skills. So what son? You have one year left---get your diploma. After that, hey, I respect the fact that you don't want to go to college and you want to play against greater competition in Europe rather than have to go to class and pretend you are in college for any other reason other than to play hoop. I understand that completely. But what if you get hurt over in Europe in the next two years kid? What are you going to do? Come back home with you tail between you legs and get your GED? Will you go back to San Diego High and finish your last year? Or will you say screw it and end up slingin' hash browns and flipping pancakes at IHOP? This is where the parents should've stepped in. At the end of the day, Tyler is their KID and his parents are sitting back and being 'advised' by Sonny Vaccaro? What is going on here? At least if Tyler finished HS and did end up getting hurt over there he could come back home and regroup WITH his diploma in hand and then decide if he will hit the work world or head off to college. He shouldn't have to come home and worry about finishing another year of High School or getting his GED. I really hope that this doesn't become a new trend in the U.S. and I hope that parents don't allow it to become a new trend. That being said, at the end of the day, I guess everyone has a right to seek employment once they reach the appropriate age---and yes, I understand that there's potentially a lot of money at stake in this case.

Good Luck Jeremy, I do mean that. I just wish your parents would've stepped in when you needed them the most and told Sonny and Spain to go piss up a tree until you get your diploma next spring.

-Chuck Hanf, Two Cents From Beantown
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7/13/09   |   tre_bomber03   |   3 respect

dragonfly473 wrote:
The chances of him returning to school in the future are slim.  Everyone always says they'll go back but so few do.  Education is important, he should finish high school at least and then play for Spain for one year only so he is able to go pro. 

 He's apparently already good at math.

7/13/09   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

drn0iswatr wrote:
 I agree completely - he might not really do anything in his last year but at least he can say that he finished - that should count for something. If I was a GM or owner I would have to keep in the back of my head that this kid won't finish something if it isn't to his benefit...so what if we are a sucky team? Will he take off at the first sign of trouble b/c it isn't doing anything for him? Get the diploma. Show you can finish something. 

The GM could also think that this kid is willing to do anything, including moving 6,000 miles away from his family to play with grown-ass-men instead of kids, to succeed at basketball and become the best player he can be.  I'm not saying that a diploma isn't important, but it's definately not nearly as important as most people seem to think.  I mean, some of the dumbest, most stupid and ignorant people I've ever had the misfortune of meeting were HS (and in some cases college) grads.

7/13/09   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

This kid is following his dream and his vision..... there's nothing wrong with that.  And I'm sorry to say but having a HS diploma will not make you a better baller, or a better person.  It just won't.  As an employer I look at people with a GED (Good Enough Degree, as I call them) as people that have made a mistake earlier in life and have learned from that mistake and are making up for it now, which is a much more valuable experience than graduating HS in the first place.  And as for the possibility of him getting injured playing in Europe.... he's just as likely to get injured riding his bike to school or taking his dog for a walk or even taking a dump.

What I really mean to say is that there is and inherent chance of failure in everything you choose to do or any path you choose to follow (in this case injury), but the fact that this kid is willing to take that chance shows to me that he has bigger balls than almost everybody else out there because he's not afraid to follow his vision that he has for his life.

7/13/09   |   dragonfly473

100%InjuryRate wrote:
I'm not really that bent out of shape about this. This isn't any different than what kids in Europe do. We make too much of a connection between academics and sports in the this country which is in my opinion, not necessary.

A lot of these top level athletes, school is just a minor speed bump to becoming a pro. It's ridiculous to think that guys like OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose are going to college for an education. They're not. They're just going to kill time for a year before they enter the NBA Draft because college was their only real option to showcase themselves (which is a whole other post, on the NCAA just basically being a free minor leagues for pro teams).

Tyler just breaking the grain, but that doesn't necessarily mean what he's doing is wrong. Just because he takes time off to pursue becoming a pro basketball player doesn't mean he can't return to school in the future.

Besides, what if IBM came to a 17-year-old kid and said, we'll offer you a million dollars to code for us because you're so good. Would you say the 17-year-old should go to college and pass up that job? No, of course not. Because that kid can always go back to school. Tyler's no different, which is most people fail to see.

The chances of him returning to school in the future are slim.  Everyone always says they'll go back but so few do.  Education is important, he should finish high school at least and then play for Spain for one year only so he is able to go pro. 

7/13/09   |   dragonfly473

fourtime7 wrote:
couldn/t he take online college classes or hire a tutor?

He could buy the chances that he will are slim.

7/13/09   |   drn0iswatr   |   731 respect

chuckieh wrote:
because he still gets the piece of paper and it will only help him if things don't work out. If he gets hurt and never ends up making it, what kind of spirits do you think he'll be coming home in? He'll be devastated. Do you think finishing high school at that point is gonna be tops on his list? My point is he only has one year left then he can go pro in Spain for a year. Thanks for commenting man.

 I agree completely - he might not really do anything in his last year but at least he can say that he finished - that should count for something. If I was a GM or owner I would have to keep in the back of my head that this kid won't finish something if it isn't to his benefit...so what if we are a sucky team? Will he take off at the first sign of trouble b/c it isn't doing anything for him? Get the diploma. Show you can finish something. 

7/13/09   |   chuckieh   |   2 respect

djjfrench wrote:
Then what's the point of going?  Passing grades for doing dick is just like not finishing still not learning jack.

because he still gets the piece of paper and it will only help him if things don't work out. If he gets hurt and never ends up making it, what kind of spirits do you think he'll be coming home in? He'll be devastated. Do you think finishing high school at that point is gonna be tops on his list? My point is he only has one year left then he can go pro in Spain for a year. Thanks for commenting man.

7/13/09   |   tre_bomber03   |   3 respect

(Edited by tre_bomber03)

 Why is it that we care about basketball players turning pro so early, but we don't care about what age tennis players (for example) turn pro?

And before someone says that it's a race issue, both Venus and Serena turned pro at the age of 14 and I don't remember anyone advocating to change rules that would bar them from doing so.  Nor should they have.

As far as someone having access to money so early, that happens all the time in affluent families.  Hell...sometimes in not-so-affluent families.  It happens in the entertainment business all the time as well.  So why are we picking on basketball players?  Why aren't we out there protesting the Jonas Brothers and their paychecks?  Or Soulja Boy (he was 17 when he recorded "Crank That")?

I'm really curious why so many people have a problem with basketball players turning pro so early.

7/13/09   |   djjfrench   |   67 respect

crypt44 wrote:
I agree with the author. At least finish High School man! It wouldn't be hard as I'm almost sure his teachers would pass him with minimal effort.

Then what's the point of going?  Passing grades for doing dick is just like not finishing still not learning jack.

7/13/09   |   djjfrench   |   67 respect

It's his life his career and his family if they feel it's best for him then go for it.

As for Vaccaro... he's just "guiding" more dead presidents into his pockets.

7/12/09   |   chuckieh   |   2 respect

keppieboy wrote:
 I never agree with the argument that at 17 or 18 he will have problems with those seedy characters. At any age these athletes can have these problems one or two years of college is not going to fix that. I f the kid wants to take a chance of messing up his life it's his and his familys choice.

of course you are much more vunerable at the age of 17 or 18 than you are at 19 or 20. You've seen less and you've experienced less at the younger age. Yes, it is up to him and his family and I wish him the best, but I don't have to agree with it. Kid needs one more year to just get his diploma and go pro in Europe for one year. He'd be in a much better position if he'd just do that. But good luck to him.

7/12/09   |   chuckieh   |   2 respect

100%InjuryRate wrote:
I'm not really that bent out of shape about this. This isn't any different than what kids in Europe do. We make too much of a connection between academics and sports in the this country which is in my opinion, not necessary.

A lot of these top level athletes, school is just a minor speed bump to becoming a pro. It's ridiculous to think that guys like OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose are going to college for an education. They're not. They're just going to kill time for a year before they enter the NBA Draft because college was their only real option to showcase themselves (which is a whole other post, on the NCAA just basically being a free minor leagues for pro teams).

Tyler just breaking the grain, but that doesn't necessarily mean what he's doing is wrong. Just because he takes time off to pursue becoming a pro basketball player doesn't mean he can't return to school in the future.

Besides, what if IBM came to a 17-year-old kid and said, we'll offer you a million dollars to code for us because you're so good. Would you say the 17-year-old should go to college and pass up that job? No, of course not. Because that kid can always go back to school. Tyler's no different, which is most people fail to see.

and to touch on that 17 year old getting an offer from IBM, well, not even close to Tyler's situation. If a kid at 17 got a job offer from IBM and lets say he lost the job for whatever reason.. He obviously has something to fall back on because he has friggin IBM on his resume and is a genius. What will Tyler have to fall back on if basketball doesn't work out for whatever reason? Like I said, I wish the kid the best of luck. And I never said anything about he had to go to college for a year or two, but you are a more mature young man at the age of 19 or 20 than you are at 17. Of course it's up to him and his family. Doesn't mean we all have to agree with that or want to see that become a reality moving forward.

7/12/09   |   lleedubb   |   32 respect

100%InjuryRate wrote:
I'm not really that bent out of shape about this. This isn't any different than what kids in Europe do. We make too much of a connection between academics and sports in the this country which is in my opinion, not necessary.

A lot of these top level athletes, school is just a minor speed bump to becoming a pro. It's ridiculous to think that guys like OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose are going to college for an education. They're not. They're just going to kill time for a year before they enter the NBA Draft because college was their only real option to showcase themselves (which is a whole other post, on the NCAA just basically being a free minor leagues for pro teams).

Tyler just breaking the grain, but that doesn't necessarily mean what he's doing is wrong. Just because he takes time off to pursue becoming a pro basketball player doesn't mean he can't return to school in the future.

Besides, what if IBM came to a 17-year-old kid and said, we'll offer you a million dollars to code for us because you're so good. Would you say the 17-year-old should go to college and pass up that job? No, of course not. Because that kid can always go back to school. Tyler's no different, which is most people fail to see.

Well said!!

7/12/09   |   lleedubb   |   32 respect

People just kill me when they act all passionately opposed to a top athlete when they break rank and file and decide to take a different path to their own destiny!! This European thing is a new phenomenon with young hoopsters,lets sit back, wish them luck , see how it pans out  and then we can be the almighty judges that we think we are. That boy's whole family and consultants have been getting him ready for the pros since 8th grade!   

7/12/09   |   keppieboy   |   158 respect

chuckieh wrote:
so do u think that the kid should just be able to enter the NBA then at age 17 or 18? Or just be able to go to Europe? How about actually maturing a little bit as a man before hitting the road as a professional ballplayer and being exposed to all sorts of things that he's never seen before in his life. Hangers on, groupies, all sorts of seedy characters looking to bring him down. Also, do you really think Jeremy Tyler will be finishing High School if he gets hurt and basketball doesn't work out? Bottom line, he should just get his diploma, mature a little as a young man and go pro after his senior year.

 I never agree with the argument that at 17 or 18 he will have problems with those seedy characters. At any age these athletes can have these problems one or two years of college is not going to fix that. I f the kid wants to take a chance of messing up his life it's his and his familys choice.

7/12/09   |   chuckieh   |   2 respect

100%InjuryRate wrote:
I'm not really that bent out of shape about this. This isn't any different than what kids in Europe do. We make too much of a connection between academics and sports in the this country which is in my opinion, not necessary.

A lot of these top level athletes, school is just a minor speed bump to becoming a pro. It's ridiculous to think that guys like OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose are going to college for an education. They're not. They're just going to kill time for a year before they enter the NBA Draft because college was their only real option to showcase themselves (which is a whole other post, on the NCAA just basically being a free minor leagues for pro teams).

Tyler just breaking the grain, but that doesn't necessarily mean what he's doing is wrong. Just because he takes time off to pursue becoming a pro basketball player doesn't mean he can't return to school in the future.

Besides, what if IBM came to a 17-year-old kid and said, we'll offer you a million dollars to code for us because you're so good. Would you say the 17-year-old should go to college and pass up that job? No, of course not. Because that kid can always go back to school. Tyler's no different, which is most people fail to see.

so do u think that the kid should just be able to enter the NBA then at age 17 or 18? Or just be able to go to Europe? How about actually maturing a little bit as a man before hitting the road as a professional ballplayer and being exposed to all sorts of things that he's never seen before in his life. Hangers on, groupies, all sorts of seedy characters looking to bring him down. Also, do you really think Jeremy Tyler will be finishing High School if he gets hurt and basketball doesn't work out? Bottom line, he should just get his diploma, mature a little as a young man and go pro after his senior year.

7/12/09   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

I'm not really that bent out of shape about this. This isn't any different than what kids in Europe do. We make too much of a connection between academics and sports in the this country which is in my opinion, not necessary.

A lot of these top level athletes, school is just a minor speed bump to becoming a pro. It's ridiculous to think that guys like OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose are going to college for an education. They're not. They're just going to kill time for a year before they enter the NBA Draft because college was their only real option to showcase themselves (which is a whole other post, on the NCAA just basically being a free minor leagues for pro teams).

Tyler just breaking the grain, but that doesn't necessarily mean what he's doing is wrong. Just because he takes time off to pursue becoming a pro basketball player doesn't mean he can't return to school in the future.

Besides, what if IBM came to a 17-year-old kid and said, we'll offer you a million dollars to code for us because you're so good. Would you say the 17-year-old should go to college and pass up that job? No, of course not. Because that kid can always go back to school. Tyler's no different, which is most people fail to see.

7/12/09   |   fourtime7   |   8 respect

couldn/t he take online college classes or hire a tutor?

7/12/09   |   Scott   |   52860 respect

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said  " I understand that there's potentially a lot of money at stake in this case".  The parents are more focused on what might financial gain they might get in a couple of years and they arent realizing that this could potentially hurt there kid more then help him if things dont go the way there advisor has laid out.  The power of the all mighty American dollar is a powerful tool that can sway anybody

7/12/09   |   crypt44

I agree with the author. At least finish High School man! It wouldn't be hard as I'm almost sure his teachers would pass him with minimal effort.

7/12/09   |   kwheels

hopefully he doesnt have the attitude of brandon jennings

7/12/09   |   guylake   |   321 respect

Great read. I had heard that Jeremy was actually toying with the idea of attending hometown San Diego State. I am not shocked Vaccaro is involved. He was the adviser who suggested Brandon Jennings  go to Italy to play professional ball instead of going the one-year of college route. Looks like he extending his concept without regard for Jeremy Tyler.