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Memo to the kids: Get yourselves to college


June 5
Somebody should send a bulletin out to kids like Kendrick Perkins, Charlie Villanueva and Ndudi Ebi. All three are currently part of the NBA draft.

Lebron James
LeBron James is the only high-schooler making a sure leap to the NBA big time this year.
That's right, these three high-school stars -- slated to attend Memphis, Connecticut and Arizona (respectively) if they pull out of the NBA draft -- need to know their stock would rise if they didn't go into this draft. Odds are they would move up to the middle of the first round.

Right now, all three could be late first-round selections or even out of the guaranteed money in the second round. They are risking major dollars in the future.

Reflect on Carmelo Anthony, T.J. Ford and Chris Bosh and ask where they would have been drafted if they came out right from high school? They probably would not have been high up in the lottery.

A LeBron James comes along very rarely. Where is the reality for Villanueva, Ebi and Perkins? Where is the solid decision-making that can make a difference economically? Patience, my friends, patience.

These young men should allow time to let their game develop. Play for great ones -- these guys have the potential to play for three brilliant coaches in Jim Calhoun, Lute Olson and John Calipari. All three have coached in the Final Four before, with Calhoun and Olson sporting championship rings.

Villanueva could be playing for the premier team in the nation, as the Huskies return Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon. Arizona has a great class coming in.

Please, somebody tell these kids to get real and get to the college campus. Enjoy life as a student-athlete on the college level. Reach your potential and improve so you'll be a lock for the lottery. Don't forget names like DeAngelo Collins and Lenny Cooke, two guys who were told they'd go somewhere in the first round and never heard their names called. Remember that disappointment.

These three players have the potential to be stars down the line. They are a year away from getting closer to where they belong. In the case of James Lang, he signed with an agent, so he has no choice but to stay in the draft.

Time will tell. All I know is that 73 underclassmen and high-schoolers declared for the draft, but there are only 58 picks overall in the draft's two rounds. Figure in a number of talented seniors, and somebody is going to be left wondering what went wrong.

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