Basketball players should be able to go to the NBA as soon as they’re ready


In 2006, the NBA ruled that a player must wait a year after High School in order to be able to play in the NBA. Photo by Ryan Caldwell ’21.

Jackson Jogan '21, Page Editor

For as long as I can remember, entering the NBA directly out of high school has been a subject of much debate. At one point you could, but as of 2006, the NBA rules state you must be at least 19 years old to enter the league, or the one and done rule, referring to the single year you must wait. This means at least one year after graduating high school, whether or not one enrolls in college, travels overseas or takes a gap year to train for the league.


I’ve always disagreed with the idea of required college, and my disdain has only grown over the years. It peaked following Duke basketball phenom Zion Williamson’s injury this past week during a game against North Carolina, only 33 seconds in. He tore through his shoe and injured his knee, forcing him to leave the game, and still has not returned from injury.


I’m a big basketball fan, and I’ve seen college level injuries ruin a player’s chance at making money in the league or even entering the league at all. Some of the best players ever like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Kevin Garnett all came out of high school. James, Bryant and Garnett all won the MVP award during their careers. What would an injury in college have done to their careers?


This specific injury could cause Williamson’s draft value to plummet depending on the severity. It could forever change his confidence and athleticism. In my opinion, Williamson could’ve gone straight to the league thanks to his size, skill and athletic ability. However, he had to go to college and he got injured, possibly diminishing his chances of playing in the NBA.


Although there haven’t been basketball players at South ready for the league, that doesn’t make it any less relevant of a topic at the high school level. There are countless players across the country that are speculated as being ready for the league. As of now, they can’t go no matter how ready they are.


I fully support the concept of going to college to improve mental and physical maturity, but I feel like at a certain point, if you’re ready, you’re ready. I see no reasonable argument against letting a player who’s ready for the NBA enter the NBA draft. It shouldn’t be a debate if the player wants to try to go to the league should be allowed to or not.


There are alternatives to going to college, but college is by far the best option. It provides the best chance at being drafted and the best development, but it also provides the highest chances of getting injured. I don’t want to see another injury ruin a player’s chance at going to the league. I want to see a change in the one and done rule, and an option to go to the NBA straight from high school.