With a crazy college basketball season coming to an end with March Madness, lots of college stars have declared for the NBA Draft like Trae Young, Deandre Ayton, and Marvin Bagley. One thing that all three of these college stars have in common is that they are all freshmen leaving to go to the pros after one year in college.
One topic that has been discussed frequently over recent years is the number of players going to college for one year and then leaving to go to the NBA. Lots of people in the basketball community have mixed feelings about this subject. Some people feel as though they should stay at college longer than a year and others feel like they should take their talents to the next level. I will consider both sides of the argument and share my opinion.
A couple of positives for players playing for one year and leaving for the pro league is that the freshmen that do go to the NBA have a great opportunity to elevate their game. In last year’s NBA Draft, 16 out of the first 30 picks were freshmen while only five upperclassmen were taken in the first 30 picks. Teams like to pick younger players because they have more room to grow. To add on to the positives, a lot of one and done NBA players do end up having a successful NBA career. One and done players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis have all been selected by the NBA to be league all stars at least four times which is a great accomplishment for any player in the NBA. All three of those players made the choice that they felt was right and it worked out very well for them.
A couple of negatives of being a one and done are the education aspects. As I noted earlier, many people believe that basketball players should stay in college more than one year. To add to the point of lack of classroom education, these freshmen could also get more basketball education and experience by staying a couple more years. Staying and playing college basketball until they are an upperclassmen can really help with overall basketball experience and growing their basketball knowledge. Players like Damian Lillard, Draymond Green and Jimmy Butler all graduated from college and also have very successful NBA careers.
Even though I see the downsides of leaving college after one year to go to the NBA, I understand and support one and done athletes. Many people don’t finish college, not only star athletes. According to the US News on a nationwide statline, half of the students that start college don’t finish their education. Also, it may be that some of these athletes only came to college to play basketball and get to the next level, and therefore are accomplishing their college objective. Each case is different, but I support those that make the decision to be one and done.
Evan Naemura, Staff Reporter