We previously linked to an excited Aussie column about RJ Hampton’s decision to sign with the New Zealand Breakers instead of going to college and also a Mike DeCourcy column.
The Aussie basically thought that massive amounts of US talent were about to start showing up Down Under and that the NCAA was doomed. DeCourcy was more rational, pointing out that no one had yet pulled that off with any great success and that you still got a lot back from the NCAA when you went pro in terms of recognition and brand building and so forth.
Now we get an article from Tim Cowlishaw from The Dallas News basically taking DeCourcy’s side of the argument.
Aside from the previous arguments we’ve seen, this is worth considering too: most 17 or 18 year old kids are not necessarily prepared to live overseas on their own. And while we don’t know Hampton, we do remember 17 and 18 fairly well and we know that if you had plopped us down in a country where the legal age to buy alcohol was 18 but where there was no minimum drinking age whatsoever, meaning you can drink just not buy - well, we hope he’s more disciplined than we were at that age.
We can just see some of his older Aussie and Kiwi teammates pushing him to drink like a native. This actually happened to country star Kacey Musgraves in Australia recently as fans urged her to do a shoey. Disgusted like most Americans likely would be by that idea (in a shoey you fill someone else’s shoe with booze and knock it back), she told them in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t going to do that.
Come to think of it, we hope someone is going to go with young Hampton to provide some structure to a kid who is, after all, still high school age. He might be exceptionally mature for all we know but as we’ve argued from time to time, putting a high school kid in the NBA with the fast lives some of those guys live is close to child abuse. The alcohol laws alone would give us pause.
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