Saturday, January 1, 2011
According to Wiki.answers.com, there is a slim chance that a high school basketball player will progress to the level of playing for a Division I university (one of the major college programs). Wiki.answers estimates that only 5,400 out of 10 million high school athletes will play for a Division I program. That's 0.054% chance.
The odds are even slimmer that those high school players will get an NBA contract. Wiki.answers.com estimates that only 40 out of 10 million high school basketball players will sign a contract with the NBA. That is 0.0004% chance.
(Admittedly, high school basketball players do have better odds of making the NBA than folks who play Lotto have of winning the Grand Prize for either Mega Millions or Powerball.)
So, why does it matter when the Grand Rapids Press reports that there is an increasing disparity between high school athletic programs? Wealthier communities can afford to send their students to summer camps, to play on far flung travel athletic teams, to have new uniforms and better locker rooms for their student athletes. Poorer communities struggle to maintain a program.
So, why does it matter?
It is certainly true that our society over emphasizes major college and professional sports. The same could be said of Hollywood movie stars. (How many kids in a school play are going to someday be starring in a Hollywood blockbuster produced by Steven Spielberg?)
I propose that for some youngsters that a chance to play on a high school athletic team is a chance to gain self confidence, a chance to learn team work and discipline, a chance to feel part of something more than self. High school athletics is not a ticket for most players to a life of inflated salaries in professional sports. High school athletics is simply another chance for our young people to grow and learn.
The GR Press article which discusses the disparity in high school sports programs can be found at:
Posted by RLB at 7:49 AM