We Could Learn From Europe

By Joe Haefner

Recently, Josh Childress bolted from the NBA to play in Europe for a more lucrative deal. What really caught my eye when I was reading about this, was this quote:

“I assumed that I’d have to go average 20, 22 points a game here,” he explains. “But the Euroleague MVP most years averages like 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists. It’s an award that the guy who actually helps his team win the most wins. … My coaches here just want me to be versatile, and to play four positions, and to help the team win as many ways as I can.”

For the most part, Americans have become so obsessed with 20+ PPG that we forget the impact a player does all of the little things can have on a team. Obviously, Europe recognizes this and that’s one of the reasons, that the world has caught up with the U.S.

The whole mentality and development of basketball in this nation in the U.S. needs to change, and I believe it starts at the bottom with youth basketball. We need to do away with (or at least change) all of the Addidas, Nike, AAU youth camps that forces coaches and players to focus on winning, instead of the EMOTIONAL and PHYSICAL development of children. We have do not have any (or very little) logical progression and continuity with the development of youth players.

We have rankings for 10 year olds! Heck, I don’t know if I even knew how to tie my shoes when I was 10. Now, we have kids being compared against other kids nationally? Come on. Not to mention, I guarantee most of the kids are burnt out by the time they reach high school.

Year-long basketball, pressure for 10 year olds to college scholarships, and shoe companies talking to middle school players? Let kids be kids and let’s focus on their overall development.

Other parts of the world have picked up on this. Shouldn’t we?

3 Comments

  1. Lewis — July 29, 2008 @ 4:14 am

    Test comment for the emails…..

  2. rmendoza123 — August 27, 2008 @ 8:30 pm

    nice article keep it up!

  3. rye — August 27, 2008 @ 8:32 pm

    nice tips thanks!

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