College helps most people prepare for success in their chosen professional field.
If you want to be a lawyer, doctor or go into business, you’re in pretty good shape at Michigan. And there are myriad other programs at the University that help you become the best in your field once you graduate.
Sports aren’t much different. While some players may not take college as seriously, the fact of the matter is college sports can help a player become more seasoned before he or she steps up to the professional ranks, especially in the big revenue sports.
It’s simple: The more time you spend playing a sport in college, the more experience you have to take with you to the pros.
Unfortunately for Lester Abram, Dion Harris, Brent Petway and Courtney Sims, former Michigan men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker didn’t do much to help develop them into legitimate professional prospects. The case of Harris is especially sad considering he had the most potential of the four coming into Michigan.
The players didn’t help themselves, either. At times they seemed almost apathetic when their season and, ultimately their basketball careers, were going down the drain.
But regardless of who is more to blame for the failure of the class of 2007, Amaker’s inability to develop his players hurt not only the program, but also the players’ chances of fulfilling the childhood dream of playing professional sports.
College is a great experience and it’s the time in a person’s life that will always live in his or her memory. But it’s just fleeting and without taking advantage of it, you’ll have a hard time succeeding at something you love to do.
There are exceptions. College isn’t an immutable necessity for success and happiness either in sports or in life. But it can’t hurt.
The saddest thing about Thursday’s NBA Draft isn’t the lack of prestige that comes with pumping out professional athletes each and every season. Or the pride of buying the professional jersey of a player you watched from the Maize Rage on a weekly basis every year while you were in school.
It’s that four childhood dreams weren’t fulfilled. One coach couldn’t celebrate like a proud parent.
And the Michigan basketball program didn’t uphold a tradition of excellence that runs across every facet of the University.
Hopefully new Michigan coach John Beilein will never let this happen again.
-Bosch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.