60 basketball players had their dreams come true on draft night. There are over 4,500 NCAA division 1 men’s basketball players. Only SIXTY got drafted. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR LIFE AFTER SPORTS?!? Athletes suffer from depression at 4x the rate of the rest of the population. I believe it’s because nobody ever stopped to tell us what to do once ball is over.
I can’t lie to you. As I watched the NBA draft earlier this week I experienced a wide range of emotions. I enjoyed watched young superstars celebrate as the commissioner called their name. Mothers shed tears. College coaches embraced their players with hugs. It was in that moment that life long dreams came true. I can’t even imagine how those young men felt. All of the years of hard work finally paid off.
I can’t help it but from time to time my inner accountant comes out. I love to crunch numbers. During one of the commercial breaks I decided to crunch the numbers. There are 347 Division 1 basketball programs. Each school is awarded approximately 13 scholarships. Sixty players got drafted. Let’s break this down.
347 schools (13 players per team)= 4,500 Division 1 men’s basketball players
Again SIXTY got drafted. Sixty. 60!
If 60 out of 4500 players got drafted that means that players who participated in last years season had a 0.013 chance of getting drafted.
From the time we are kids we are told that if we work hard and stay committed we will have a chance to make it. For 98% of us that never happens. I was happy for the players who made it but I couldn’t help but think about the other 98%. The rest of us are lost. We spend so much time trying to get better strong and faster. We need to spend more time getting wiser and more skilled. We need to refine the skills that will equip us to build the lives we dream of and provide for our families. Putting a ball through a basket is not the only way to make a living. There are other options.
Maybe you knew you’d never play pro but let’s face it. The end of your playing days is never easy. I caught myself dribbling an imaginary basketball yesterday. I haven’t played organized basketball in 7 years but basketball is still engrained in me.
I’m not suggesting that you have to abandon your sport in order to move on but at some point you have to figure out how to translate those skills. You have to get a new set of goals. You have to get a new dream and chase it down. It’s in you. Go get it.
Until next time,