Jeremy Tyler is a reluctant case study. You’ve probably heard the story. He is the first high school junior to turn pro. No 12th grade year at San Diego High. No sticking to Rick Pitino’s coaching regimen at the University of Louisville, where he’d signed to play in the fall of 2008, a couple months after turning 17. Tyler’s name wasn’t splashed across headlines for being who some thought to be a future No. 1 overall draft pick in pursuit of March Madness glory. No, it was because he was missing out on all of that. Before he could turn 18, Tyler announced he was going to play basketball in Israel.
“I mean, I’ll be sitting here lying to you if I told you it was easy. It’s not easy. I wouldn’t advise, but…,” Tyler said after working out for the Washington Wizards on June 10, stopping in mid-sentence. It’s been over two years since his decision. Tyler’s self-confidence still seems high, but whether he would recommend his path to the NBA Draft to another high school junior is a different story.
“Because it was the best thing for me,” he continued. Later, he still struggles with his recommendation.