Kevin's Rant

Colleges call out to tots

May 10, 2008|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG

Michael Avery, a 6-foot-4 eighth-grader from Lake Sherwood, Calif., hasn't even decided where he's going to attend high school yet. There are a number of prep schools around the country vying for his enrollment.

But Avery, a rising basketball prospect on the AAU circuit, does know where he's going to attend college: the University of Kentucky.

You see, the Wildcats have already offered him a basketball scholarship.

Rivals.com broke the news to the world earlier this week, letting us know that Kentucky's coach, Billy Gillispie, had seen the 14-year-old play at an AAU tournament and decided he wanted to lock him up with an oral commitment before anyone else could. It's not the first time a school has offered an eighth-grader a scholarship (Bob Knight did it with Damon Bailey at Indiana) and it won't be the last.

Still, it's kind of creepy.

It would be nice if we could wait until these kids are at least old enough to drive before Dick Vitale is allowed to refer to them as diaper dandys.

It's good for Michael Avery's parents, who can now shift his college fund directly into their 401k, but bad for college basketball. If you're too young to date Miley Cyrus, you're too young to get scholarship offers from Kentucky.

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