Career NBA: The Road Least Traveled

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  • Author: Patrick Rhodes
  • Date: 25 February 2015
  • Copyright: All images and artwork created by Patrick Rhodes

The bell rings - time to go to practice. Jarnell Stokes heads over to the gym, changes, and starts warming up with his teammates. It's his Junior year in high school. The Memphis, Tennessee native has a lot on his mind; soon he'll have to make a choice - a choice which will affect his future. Sitting on his table back home are basketball scholarship offers[1] from the universities of Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Memphis, Mississippi and Tennessee.

It's quite rare for a high school athlete to receive a sports scholarship to even a single college, much less multiple schools. As we'll come to see, he's quite the statistical outlier in the world of basketball. Most do not play beyond high school. Those that do rarely possess the world-class talent to play in the NBA (National Basketball Association). That being said, what are Jarnell's chances that he could make a career playing in the NBA?

thumbnail image: Career NBA: The Road Least Traveled

In the United States, professional basketball enjoys great popularity, ranking in the top five most popular sports[1] as of 2014. Just about any kid playing basketball in high school wants to play professionally. Unfortunately, he is competing with the approximately 540,000 other high school players[2] all thinking the same thing. Nearly every gym in nearly every school is filled with these young men pushing themselves, feverishly honing their skills in hopes of getting an offer from a university (which, for most, is the first step of many to make it to the NBA).

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