Pete Thamel from The New York Times has two stories today on Brandon Jennings, and my first though on this is, Great job by Pete getting the paper to send him to Rome for the research. We should all be so lucky.The first story asks whether Jennings, an elite point guard who opted to play professionally in Europe instead of going to Arizona when his academic status was called into question, is a trailblazer.“He really wants to go to college,” Stewart said. “He’s still a kid. He’s a ballplayer and he wants to perform. He doesn’t want any special treatment.” (Photo courtesy New York Times)
The question of how many players will follow Jennings’s path to the N.B.A. lingers at all levels. Sonny Vaccaro, the former sneaker company executive who orchestrated Jennings’s move, said that the families of 12 elite high school players had contacted him. They are intrigued by the notion of going to Europe. “I think we’re going to have a revolution, and Brandon Jennings, a kid from Compton, is going to start it,” Vaccaro said in a telephone interview.In another story about Jennings’ family keeping an eye on him, Jennings says that three high school players in the class of 2009 — the California big men Renardo Sidney and Jordan Hamilton and Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn — were talented enough to play professionally in Europe.
“I would ask them this: What do you want to get out of it?” Jennings said. “If they’re coming over here for the money, don’t do it. If they want to learn and get better, they should think about it. If you have a bad attitude, it’s not going to be good.”Even though both Stephenson and his father, Lance Sr., said they are intrigued by Jennings’ move overseas, Hassani Stewart, Stephenson’s AAU coach with Raising Champions, said Lance’s primary objective is to attend college. He is currently planning visits to Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and USC.