Please stay. Please? I know that ESPN and other outlets have projected that you will be a top-50 pick for the upcoming NBA Draft, but I hope that you’ll turn down the NBA to come back to Yale for your senior season.
You’re likely already thinking of staying for your senior year because you are likely to be a second-round pick in June, although who knows how far you could rise once scouts realize that your game translates to the next level. Still, if you need any additional persuading to stay for your senior year, let me try to convince you.
In the next few months, dozens of NBA prospects like you will have to decide whether to declare for the NBA Draft. In general, I think almost all these players on the bubble should return to college for an additional year. Obviously, the top prospects receive so much guaranteed money in their rookie contracts that it would be financially reckless for them to return to college, but I think most underclassmen outside the top-15 picks should come back to school.
Returning to school has much upside with minimal risks. Although my untrained eyes cannot see any flaws in your game, I’m sure that coach James Jones and his staff will help you become an even better NBA prospect if you return.
With you returning next year, Yale would be one of the favorites to repeat as Ivy League champion. Every time you drive the lane next year, you’d have the option to lob it up to Jordan Bruner ’20 for a dunk or kick it out to Azar Swain ’21. Surrounded by a strong team, you might get a chance to leave your mark in the NCAA Tournament next March. More importantly, with three senior starters graduating, next year’s Bulldogs are going to be young. If you return, you’d have a unique opportunity to mentor the underclassmen.
You also need to return because if you don’t, Harvard’s Bryce Aiken will be the best player in the league, and we can’t let that happen. Also, if you stay, you’d get another year to play against your high-school teammate, Harvard’s Christian Juzang.
But all other arguments aside, you should mainly come back to school because being a Yale senior is way cooler than being an NBA player. If you stay, you can join a senior society, which the NBA does not have. If you leave for the NBA, you will miss Spring Fling, beach week at Myrtle, senior week and so many other Yale traditions.
Now, you might point out that NBA players get to party with celebrities, but I would remind you that everywhere you go out, people will label you as one of those NBA players. There will be cameras everywhere, and all the attention will get annoying. In New Haven, you can just be Miye, celebrating weekend sweeps with your teammates with a certain degree of anonymity. I’m sure whatever city drafts you has great clubs, but do they compare to Toads?
We’ve also got all the food you could want in New Haven. From breakfast at Patricia’s to dinner at Frank Pepe’s, New Haven has all the fuel you would need in case NBA scouts want you to add a couple pounds.
And sure, NBA teams train in nicer facilities than Payne Whitney Gymnasium, but do NBA arenas compare to the energy in John J. Lee Amphitheater when you’ve got the ball in your hands in the waning minutes of a Yale-Harvard game? At JLA, everyone is rooting for you. In the NBA, you’d just be part of the show.
The point is that college has so much to offer, and, as an underclassman, it’s easy to get lost trying to position yourself for a successful career. Most Yale students do, obsessing over their post-grad plans instead of enjoying their “Bright College Years.”
I recognize that you could make a ton of money in the NBA, but we really need you in New Haven next year.
A Yale basketball fan
Contact Matthew Mister at firstname.lastname@example.org .