Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Marvin Williams is a student too

The NBA's age restriction on who can enter the draft -- what we like to call the one-and-done rule -- has plenty of detractors.

The biggest reason, and perhaps the most logical, is the possibility for the athletes to make a sham of the term "student" athlete. Its not a secret that these kids don't have to go to class after the first semester, and its a pretty safe bet that a number of them take advantage of it.

But not every one.

Take Marvin Williams, for example. As a freshman, Williams was the sixth man on UNC's 2005 national title winning team. He left UNC after that season, becoming the 2nd pick in the NBA Draft. As he is about to enter his sixth season in the NBA, Williams is a wealthy man and about to get wealthier -- he stands to make $22 millions over the next three years. That doesn't mean he hasn't taken the time to better himself, and not just his bank account. Not only has Williams spent time in Senegal with the NBA's Basketball without Borders program, he has volunteered with the Special Olympics since he was a sophomore in high school, and recently hosted a bowling event for the program.

Oh, and how about this little diddy -- he's been returning to Chapel Hill during the summers to work his way towards a degree in African American Studies. He has just three summers to go before he earns his diploma.

And don't forget about Kevin Durant.

Durant spent this summer leading the United States to a gold medal in Turkey at the World Basketball Championships, but prior to this year, the former Longhorn would return to the University of Texas to work out with former teammates and (wait for it) take classes.

There are definitely kids out there that stop going to class once they enter the NBA Draft. I know two examples don't prove anything.

But before we assume that every talented basketball player looking to maximize their earning potential before their athletic ability goes away, remember that there are some kids that happen to be tall, athletic, and good shooters that do care about getting themselves educated as well.


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