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Nazr Mohammed regrets leaving Kentucky early

Nazr Mohammed has spent some time blogging since ending his basketball career after 17 seasons in the NBA. His latest blog went live today and in it he names his one biggest regret: leaving Kentucky early to enter the draft.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that I wish I had stayed in school for my senior year,” Mohammed wrote.

The former Wildcat, who announced he would leave UK after three seasons in 1998, believes every player should remain in college all four years unless they are a projected lottery pick. Too many careers are cut short due to a lack of opportunities at the next level, so Mohammed believe it’s best to stay in college and be “the man” as long as possible:

If you’re in a college situation where you’re the star that’s carrying your team, that knowledge and experience is invaluable. Learning the nuances of the game and being in an environment where you are depended upon will only make you a better NBA player. The pressure you will endure in these situations will give you more situations to draw upon for strength and guidance when taking your game to the next level. Why would you want to rush into the NBA to have a short career or get cut right away? Why wouldn’t you want to stay in school, earn your degree, and reap the social benefits of giving yourself time to grow up, not to mention possibly being a higher draft pick the following year? Injuries are always a concern and can’t be predicted, but you can’t play ball worried about the uncontrollable.

When Mohammed decided to make the jump, he believed he would be taken in the lottery, but fell all the way to No. 29, the last pick in the first round. And though he had a very successful NBA career, he wonders what could have been had he spent another year at the college level, likely improving his draft position and opportunities early in his career.

Definitely give it a read. Hopefully some NBA hopefuls see it and take his advice. I can name a couple Wildcats who should’ve read this before making their decisions over the past couple years.

Nazr Mohammed: My One Regret

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

13 Comments for Nazr Mohammed regrets leaving Kentucky early

  1. Stives
    12:09 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

    It’s unreal the amount of players that have left early since Cal has been here that should have stayed. Daniel Orton, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, James Young, Harrison Twins, Dakari Johnson, Archie Goodwin. All of these players careers are already over or won’t even start. It’s a shame really with all the opportunity that was placed in front of them.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:45 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

      You should tweet them and tell them…

    • J-Dub421
      1:10 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

      Goodwin actually plays and contributes a little. Orton is a moron who can’t stay out of his own way. Lamb has no work ethic, and that’s on him. Young may lack work ethic, the jury is still out on him. Teague probably should have come back for another season. The rest are all rookies, so why don’t we let them get through at least a whole season before passing judgement. Either way, Dakari and the Harrison twins were not going to improve their draft stock by staying another year. The NBA values youth.

    • Laker Cat 18
      2:25 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

      What about Booker? Booker and Goodwin essentially have the same exact stat line for Phoenix right now.

  2. CatBlue in LR
    12:54 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

    Nazr’s a good writer. I’m proud of him.

  3. Stives
    1:04 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

    Don’t need to tweet them. They already know or will sooner rather than later.

  4. aj007
    1:20 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

    The system forces kids to make a choice. It’s fantastic for stars, but the players who stay a year or two without putting up great showing are put in situations where it’s a difficult road. Orton is the only one I felt that really had no excuse for going. The rest that Stives has mentioned all had reasons or no other legitimate beneficial option to turn to.

    • Kernel Sanders
      2:05 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

      I don’t understand. Since when is getting another year of free college education, free room and board, a stipend, and rock star celebrity status not a reason or beneficial option to return for another year??

  5. Angelo
    1:44 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

    If Karl says this some day I will cry

  6. So it’s a really long winded way of saying “I don’t like all these one and dones!”?

  7. jr1122
    2:26 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

    A couple? Try a handful…and #1 has the list. I would add a few more, but thats up for debate. Because of the rule, you can either go to college or go overseas. Their call.

  8. Jordan
    8:54 am December 23, 2015 Permalink

    So he says players should go if they are projected lottery, but regrets leaving even though he was projected to go in the lottery? He made the right decision if that’s where people were telling him he’d go. If he did go that high, I wonder if he would still say “I was a lottery pick but I regret leaving early”

  9. Megan
    10:27 am December 23, 2015 Permalink

    Nazr speaks the truth. And he’s in a position to know. So much for the couch potatoes who argue you should get to the league asap to maximize your lifetime earnings.

    I’m particularly glad to see Nazr recognize the value of giving yourself time to grow up. As Cal says, the NBA is a man’s world. No Boys Allowed. It’s a business. It’s travel. It’s restless nights in one-night nice hotels. And it’s hard work. 81 games. You have to immediately become a responsible adult and make adult decisions. You have to be able to say no to people. You can go back and get your degree, but you can never return to what it’s like to be 18-21 and in college. After an NBA game, you don’t hang out with your teammates and grab a pizza and a movie. It’s not the same.

    Cal said he’s heard the same from some of his other players. They regretted not staying longer in college. I pray that when it comes time for our players to make that decision, they get a chance to consider Nazr’s point of view.