When Jeremy Tyler decided to forgo his senior year of high school basketball to play professionally overseas, he was pretty sure it was his road to stardom—the stepping stone to big performances in the NBA.
Everybody was sure that he would become the No. 1 overall pick when he became eligible for the draft. He has the size and charisma of an NBA superstar.
“My mission is to shake David Stern’s hand,” he said.
He was destined to make it, but somehow he came up short of all those big expectations and promises.
He took a different road and a different path, but he learned one of life’s greatest lessons in return.
Israeli team Maccabi Haifa gave Tyler a two year, $280,000 contract to join them.
However, Jeremy didn’t live up to expectations, averaging only 2.1 points per game before quitting the team after ten games. He scored just one point in his first two games, a stat that makes you scratch your head.
All the hype and all the praise gave way to one simple message: Welcome to the real world.
Everybody wanted a piece of him like a red flag in a sea of angry bulls. He became an open target…and Jeremy bowed down without resistance.
He was out of shape and lacked the work ethic. He thought this was only a part of his gig, an undercard to a main event, but this was it. His mettle was tested and he failed big time.
Jeremy got another chance, though, when he signed a contract to play with the Tokyo Apache of the Japanese professional league.
There, he played under the tutelage of former NBA coach Bob Hill. Slowly, he became a much better player.
However, his time in Japan was cut short by the tragic earthquake, and he headed back to the United States.
Wit just days left until the 2011 NBA draft, Jeremy still dreams of the opportunity to shake the commissioner’s hand.
However, he now projects as a late first round pick. His draft stock may have dropped, but he much more mature and humble than he was two years ago.
At just 20 years old, and with a 7’5” wingspan and an NBA ready body, Tyler has much room to improve.
He is ready for the challenge of the NBA, and he knows he has a lot more to offer than 2.1 points per game.
There are many ways of getting to our desired destinations. Sometimes we take much more difficult paths, but in the end, reaching that destination is all that matters.
Luckily for Jeremy, he is on the verge of reaching his desired destination, and he got to pick some valuable lessons along the way.
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