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.