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It has been reported on ESPN that Kevin Durant and Jeff Green will not be participating in this off season's summer league. As a Sonics fan (but not really one of Durant), I was at first a bit miffed by the possibility that my squad would not have their two best players on the team to acquire extra NBA knowledge; however when I read the article further, I was very surprised at their reasoning:
Both players are returning to school to continue work on their degrees.
In this day and age, I find that this is rather shocking and very uncharacteristic of most players who even attend school anymore since education is so undervalued. Due to the NBA's ruling to require players to attend school for at least one year, I feel that the league cares little for the education of its players and the players themselves aren't actually getting anything from their attendance anyway. I will say that I was happy to end the 'straight to the NBA from high school' madness. Far too many players have made the jump and were clearly not ready. There have been but a few who have had success, but hose players were transcendant: Malone, Kemp, Garnett, Bryant, and James. Players such as those were ready due to a physical and skill package far exceeding that of their peers. It would have been interesting to see them play college ball, but it was not to be.
I wish more players would take charge and realize that education is something more than just a piece of paper. I know this first hand since I returned to school after having been out for more than ten years. I always felt that my skills acquired in the work force would carry me through. Boy, was I ever wrong. That degree has made an immediate difference both in my ability to get better jobs and to me personally. I'm glad that Durant and Green feel the same. Perhaps Durant stated it best:
"Even though I love the game, I can't play forever and you can't do nothing without the degree. So I got to get it sooner or later. It's going to take a while, but I'd rather have it take a while than not having one."
Congrats to both of you. As a former educator, I give you both major kudos and wish you the very best in your future beyond the court.
Read the story here: