Everyone who follows college hoops, the NBA, or both knows that any prospective pro needs to spend at least one year after high school in college before they are eligible to enter the NBA Draft.
Do they need to go to college? No, they don’t have to. They could travel the world, play overseas, whatever they want to do.
But it’s what everyone (outside of the Europeans) does because there is no better way to progress your skills while keeping your name out there.
— #RecruitSzn (@RecruitSzn) May 26, 2017
Maybe one day the NBA will go back to the days of allowing players to enter the Draft straight out of high school. It’s worked out for LeBron James and it worked out for Kobe Bryant, too.
In many cases, the players go back at some point when their playing careers are over and earn their degree. Very few do what Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum is doing.
Before we even get into what he’s doing now, let’s look at what he did way back in 2012.
That season, McCollum had won his second Patriot League Player of the Year award for Lehigh University and led the Mountain Hawks to a 75-70 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament. It was only the sixth time in history that a 15th seed had defeated a 2nd seed and well, it was Duke.
McCollum had tons of interest from NBA teams, but the junior decided to stay in college and graduate instead of turning pro.
Education Is Of The Upmost Importance To McCollum
McCollum wrote a column for the Sporting News that spring that said: “By returning for my senior year, I give myself a chance to complete my degree at a prestigious university, while putting myself in a position to be successful no matter what happens in my future.”
He’s a smart cookie, that one. But McCollum wasn’t finished furthering his education.