• Words of Wisdom For Woodley

    On Memorial Day, I talked to my nephew about his future.

    Demetrius Woodley is a good player who plays for Milwaukee Vincent. He became an instant hero after his putback against Milwaukee Marquette won the Division 1 second round game at home for the Vikings. The next night, he didn't play well as Vincent lost in the regional finals against West Allis Central.

    He talked about his recent play with his AAU team, DTA Spartans. And when he showed me on his phone what a website wrote about his game and the Division 1 colleges that are showing interest, I had to tell him that the recruiting game is cutthroat and life as a future college player isn't always peachy.

    I reminded him that college coaches will do everything in their powers to get the hotshot high school guy they want. And Woodley would have been in that conversation if he had good grades in school.

    As I told him over and over, he has to get it together in the classroom. I asked Woodley back in December how his grades were, and he told me they were okay. About a month later, I found out that he was inelgible. His absence from the team after the game at Milwaukee King was crucial. It hurt team chemistry a bit during the time Woodley was out of action.

    The report cards of some of the Vincent players weren't too good. Enter new boys coach Marquis Hines and exit former coach John Allen. Hines will stress academics because he wants to see some of them graduate and possibly play college ball. Woodley is one of those young men that Hines will take under his wing.

    My nephew has some game. But he, like many City Conference players, fall victim to a bad academic history from the time they enter as ninth graders only to realize that they probably let dreams of a Division 1 scholarship slip away by the time they're juniors and colleges show interest. Unfortunately, some end up taking the junior college route. That's the path that Woodley is facing and he already knows it.

    So what about the whole recruiting thing? Well, I told Woodley a college coach will put on the song and dance, bring out the young pretty girls to show them around campus, anything necessary to get that player to their school, but he's telling another high school star the same thing. Tell them what they want to hear. Dangle a carrot in front of them and they will follow.

    He was telling me with excitement about playing in open gym at the Al McGuire Center against other local high schoolers who are on Marquette's radar. From him I know about the great basketball facilities at the Al.

    I told him that he has to treat college basketball like a job. The players are the employees and the coach is the boss. The players are there to make money for the program by playing well in games and putting fannies in the seats. The coaches get paid a lot of money, and what do the players get out of the deal? Room and board, meals, free classes, free shoes, team-issued laundry, occassional field trips out of town to play ball, nights in five-star hotels and that's basically it.

    And if that scholarship player don't live up to expectations, he is gone. He's cut off from the only financial source that he knows. In some instances, that player who didn't make it at State U will go back home as another has-been who could've been somebody.

    When I reminded Woodley that if a player wanted to transfer, he has to ask for his release from his scholarship. My nephew was shocked to hear that fact.

    I hope that Woodley leaves Vincent in 2013 with a basketball in his left hand and a diploma in his right hand. I didn't know what else I could tell him. In college, I said to Woodley, either he should use the system or the system will use him. Stay long enough to get a degree or go pro is how he can use the system. Or, he will run out of eligibility and not have enough credits to graduate. That's how the system will use him. Woodley got enough words of wisdom from his uncle. It's up to him to put that wisdom to good use.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Miller's Avatar
      Mark Miller -
      Good stuff Troy.