Maui Sports

Prep player tries no route to NBA

April 23, 2009, 3:03 PM HST
* Updated April 24, 12:59 PM
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By Fred Guzman
MTTV.com

Brandon Jennings started the trend last year, when he opted to forego attending college for one season to comply with an NBA draft-eligibility rule and instead signed with a professional team in Italy.

Now a kid who played for his prep team in a tournament at the Lahaina Civic this past December, is taking things a step further.

Jeremy Tyler, a 6-11 junior, has dropped out of San Diego High School and says he will skip his senior year to play professionally in Europe.

The 17-year-old Tyler will become the first player born in the U.S. to leave high school early to play pro basketball overseas. He is expected to come back in two years, when he is eligible for the NBA draft.

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Tyler had made a verbal commitment to Louisville. He has not signed with an agent or a pro team, but he probably will play in Spain, the although clubs from other European leagues are showing interest.

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“If you’re really focused on getting better, you go play pro somewhere,” Tyler told the New York Times.  “Pro guys will get you way better than playing against college guys.”

Jennings, a 6-2 point guard, graduated last year from Oak Hill Academy and became the first high school grad to skip college and play pro ball in Europe. He is wrapping up his first season with a team based in Rome and is projected as a high pick in June’s NBA draft.

In another draft-related development, Davidson junior guard Stephen Curry, who led the nation in scoring during the past season, announced  that he will enter the NBA draft.

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