One and Done

Have you ever heard of Jack Andraka? You probably haven’t. He’s just a guy that has developed a method to detect the early stages of pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer. With these, as with any type of cancer (or disease for that matter), early detection gives one the best chance of defeating it.

How about Eesha Khare? She developed a super capacitor prototype that can be fully charged in 20 seconds, and it holds the charge longer than other similar devices. Think that can’t be applied to cell phones, vehicles, or tablets?

What’s more baffling is that Jack is 18, and Eesha is 19. They’ve both won their fair share of awards, been on talk shows, and are just beginning their college careers. How many companies out there do you think have an open seat for these two?

So why is it that society embraces young entrepreneurs like these, and can’t wait to get them in the real world, yet NCAA basketball players are being discouraged from pulling a one-and-done?

The argument is that it’s bad for college basketball; nobody watches it because there are no stars’ careers to follow for four years. But unless you go to a certain school, nobody is following college basketball until February. The tournament is the only thing that matters.

The NBA rakes in relatively low numbers if you put the NFL in the conversation, but it’s still the more refined and polished game. It’s somewhat watchable. College basketball is largely unwatchable. Nobody wants to watch a mid-major team play against their Kentucky or Duke powerhouse. Nobody wants to sit around picking shit out of their asses while they wait for the 35 second shot clock to trickle down. Nobody wants to watch defensive-minded teams like Virginia slow down the game and end up with final scores similar to last year’s Super Bowl. That is what is really killing college basketball.

An audience desires a faster game, more action, more offense, and less stoppages. You stop the game, you stop momentum, and your audience is no longer captivated.

Think about it. Each team gets five timeouts per game, plus there is a game stoppage after every four minutes of each half. That’s 18 breaks minimum before fouls (20 per game), turnovers out of bounds, etc.

Yes, the NBA also has some work to do, but the game is more mature. When a team is down by 9 with 30 seconds left, they understand that the game is over, and don’t delay the inevitable by fouling. Many people don’t understand that college athletes see no revenue from playing sports. All the tv time, commercials, and advertisements go straight to the university. I saw a commercial awhile back advocating that the NCAA is on the students’ side. At the end of the day, it’s a business. The NCAA and students couldn’t be further apart.

Yes, not everyone who does a one-and-done pans out. But what has been the downside to Anthony Davis, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Kevin Durant leaving college early to play professionally? They’ve put the New Orleans, Washington, Sacramento, and Oklahoma City teams, respectively, on the map. Without them, all four of those teams would be absolutely terrible. Similarly, but not the same as Lebron, those four players help the economy more than people know. Crowds will show up only if they have someone to watch. Philadelphia and Detroit are terrible…their arenas are ghost towns on game nights.

I just don’t understand why we can encourage young adults like Jack and Eesha to make it to the top, yet Jahlil Okafor and others will be ripped apart for their plans to go pro.

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