With the final horn in the NCAA Championship game Monday night in Atlanta, March Madness officially gave way to April’s anticipation.
With the season now complete, men’s basketball players from all over the country will start thinking about their futures.
Will they stay in school, or will they leave early for the world of professional basketball?
Players who aren’t graduating in 2013 have until 11:59 p.m. on April 28 to declare themselves eligible for the NBA Draft.
And up until that deadline, April can be more agonizing than March for college basketball fans. Rumors start to surface about your favorite players — “I heard his parents want him to stay,” or “I heard he wants to finish out his degree.”
April is a time for college basketball players to have those contemplative conversations with their families and their coaches — coaches that have likely already reached out to NBA teams to gauge the interest in their players.
And while fans may want players to stay in school in the name of loyalty and with the hopes of a better season next year, the decision about the next step in a lifelong journey is much more complicated.
I tried to put myself in their shoes — though those shoes are much bigger and have been higher off the ground than my shoes have ever been — and consider the options.
I recall, after my freshman campaign, staring down a pretty dismal GPA and looking for just about any reason to jump ship. So, had I the temptation of a full-time job with a considerable salary at that juncture, without a doubt I would have been gone.