The big man wishes he’d gotten his diploma
Eddy Curry wishes he’d gotten a college degree.
Eddy Curry was one of the great draft busts of the 2000’s. The big man never lived up to his incredible potential in Chicago, and things only got worse in New York. In time, Curry became a punchline, his career the butt of the joke about the player who was supposed to be great and never lived up to that ability.
However, Ball Don’t Lie tracked down a conversation with Curry at a high school in Illinois. In the conversation, Curry says his biggest regret is not going to college. Curry made the leap to the NBA straight out of high school prior to the establishment of the NBA’s age limit.
He said his only regret was not attending college and participating in the rites of passage, like living in a dorm, or experiencing the growth and maturity so many NBA players received as college athletes.
“It would be super dope to have a college diploma,” Curry said.
A graduate of Thornwood High School in South Holland, Curry was just 18 when he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the first found of the 2001 NBA draft.”I was a kid coming out of high school, literally,” he said.”When I was in Chicago, they babied me in Chicago. They really kind of sheltered and kept us kind of concealed and didn’t let us get into a lot of stuff. Then I went to New York and it was total opposite. It was like boom,” he said.
Source: Lessons learned: Ex-NBA star shares his story at high school – Naperville Sun.
The conversation about the NBA’s age limit (which it should be noted I’m against) is largely constrained to two perspectives. Coaches and the league want players prepared to play basketball at a high level, which eliminates some risk with taking a chance on a prospect with talent, and players want the ability to generate income from their games right out of high school.
However, Curry does present another side of it. Maturity is something that is largely impossible to judge but vital for a person to be ready for a given career situation. Some 18-year-olds would not have had the problems Curry did. Many NBA players have had wildly successful and problem-free careers right out of high school. But it’s also clear that some players need more time to grow into themselves as people. Curry would have benefited from the structure of college.
But then, college doesn’t have to be the only way. Using the D-League as a stepping stone would have kept Curry out of the NBA lifestyle that comes with money, fame, scrutiny, and veteran players more adapt at navigating adult worlds. But it also wouldn’t provide the educational experience college provides. Then again, there’s nothing stopping Curry from going back to school now. He made $70 million in his NBA career. There’s still time.