Carr Drives to the Hoop and the Bank in Italy
Before you begin to think that high school sports have gotten completely out of hand, wait until you hear this one.
Recently, after a trip to a play in a tournament in Italy, basketball guard Aquille Carr was offered a $750,000 contract to return and play professionally there. What’s the big deal? Carr is only a sophomore in high school and is only considered an “upper mid-level collegiate prospect” by Rivals.com analysts. What’s better is that the Patterson High School product (in Maryland) also only stands at 5’6, and was carried off the court by Italian fans after averaging over 40 points per game in the tournament.
I find a few things ridiculous here right off the bat. The fact that Italian sports teams are willing to overpay for a gimmick (preferring younger, shorter players to draw bigger crowds) is just a little bit funny, especially since there’s no guarantee that Carr’s success will translate to the much bigger Italian League. But even more disconcerting is the fact that American kids are now playing in huge tournaments over seas.
Where was this when I was in high school? The farthest I ever got to go on a field trip was to Connecticut, and let me tell you nobody was waiting around to give me $750,000. And even if they were, last time I checked Connecticut is far from the most exotic place in the world anyway.
Still, I wish the best for little Aquille Carr, who, if he’s smart, will take the money and run. Under Armour, who currently sponsors Carr’s trips to these tournaments, is actually in the market for a new International face right now. If Carr could swing a deal to be that face and rack up a nice chunk of change along the way, all while being a mediocre college talent, I’d say go for it buddy. After all, they say you’re only 17 once right?