NBA lockout: What did HS players learn?

After a grueling 161 days of countless meetings, finger-pointing and accusations which at times got nasty, NBA owners and players ratified a new collective bargaining agreement last Thursday. The ratified deal ended a work stoppage that was on pubic display and scrutinized as much as the league's actual games.

The 19-year old age limit rule did not change with the new CBA, so high school players are not directly affected by the new labor deal this season.

So, what did prep players around the country learn from the NBA lockout?

ESPNHS interviewed high school players from across the country and found out teenagers are happy the NBA will return on Christmas. We also found out that they appreciated the insight that they got on the business aspect of the pro game during these lockout months.

The lockout also opened some eyes about the importance of education and a non-basketball related career.

Prepsters also learned about the dedication required to become one of the best players in the world and that ample opportunities exist to earn a living playing the game outside of the NBA.

Predictably, some players can't wait until Christmas, while others are not particularly enthralled by the star-driven league.

Here is what some high school players had to say about the NBA lockout:

"I learned players definitely have a voice. I also learned basketball can be taken away from you... you have to learn to get money from other things in life. I learned a lot about basketball from the lockout. I didn't know players had an association to help them understand and fight for what was right for them. I also didn't know there were so many leagues out there. I thought there was the NBA and a European league. I got to play with some NBA players and it was an eye-opening experience to see how hard they work at their game."

-Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 2014

"It taught me how really important a college degree is. Also that nothing is promised so always have a backup plan. And control what you can control."

-Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 2012

"I learned that you have to be smart and understand at the end of the day, it's a business. I also learned that you always have to work on your game because in a situation like the NBA lockout you don't have it written in stone when your going to play again."

-Savon Goodman, Constitution (Philadelphia) 2012

"I learned you always need a back up plan when basketball ends. It can't last forever and that's where education comes into place. It taught me to really take care of my academics and try something new that could get me a job besides basketball."

-Grant Jerrett, La Verne Lutheran (La Verne, Calif.) 2012

"I learned to have a backup plan, because the NBA is not always going to be there. I don't look at the NBA differently. For me, it's always fun to just play basketball. I was surprised how long it took to come up with a deal."

-Demarquise Johnson, Westwind Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 2012

"I learned a few things. First, stars and superstars never stop working. No matter what, basketball never stops for those guys. Two, if you make it to the NBA you have to be smart with your check. If you get to that level, you have to put yourself in a good financial situation. I don't look at the NBA different, basketball is still basketball, but I do realize now it's more of a business."

-Archie Goodwin, Sylvan Hills (Little Rock, Ark.) 2012

"I just realized at the end of the day, the game is about money. These guys work so hard to get paid for what they do. Money is a big issue. The lockout was tough. I'm a huge Lakers fan, plus I want to see how the new NBA draft picks perform."

- Zena Edosomwan, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 2012

"The main thing I learned is to not take the NBA for granted. I remember how exciting it was last year with the Miami Heat, the trades and the playoffs. You even see it this year already with the Dwight Howard/Chris Paul to the Lakers talk. Personally, I enjoy watching college basketball more. It's more about teamwork and plays."

-Kaleb Rodriguez, ThunderRidge (Littleton, Col.) 2012

"I learned you can't take nothing for granted. I realized it's a job for them. Once they were stripped of it [playing basketball], it put a tremendous strain on the players and fans. Personally, I'm ecstatic about the NBA coming back. Whenever I'm at home relaxing, I watch basketball. I want to watch the great games on Christmas Day."

-Jalen Ward, O'Dea (Seattle) 2012

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN