SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Another Twist on the Family Business

The Nike hoops camp has plenty of big names, sons of former hoop stars and a former football great, as well as the grandson of a controversial religious leader. Click here and read all about it.

The article itself is evidence that these kids will get a lot of attention because of their blood lines, and my guess is that some will handle it better than others and some are more talented than others and have more desire than others. An unfortunate fact of life for these more famous kids is that other kids who might not get the limelight because their names and pedigrees aren't as distinguished will use this lack of attention and the other kids' bloodlines as a motivator to play better and to show the cognoscenti that they in fact deserve the attention.

It's the American way.

And it's totally fair, because each and every kid has to earn his place. Who gets playing time at the best programs isn't determined by anything other than production -- combining talent with desire, effort and a work ethic as much of the time as possible. True, Al Horford, the star forward for Florida, has a father who excelled at big-time basketball. But he wouldn't be where he is just on talent alone. A hard worker, his hoops IQ is off the charts, as his play in the NCAA tournament showed. Then again, a bunch of no names from George Mason propelled that school into the national spotlight. Those kids didn't get nearly as much attention during the recruiting process, but they certainly produced when it counted, didn't they?

We should clip and save all of these articles and then look at them four years later. It will be interesting to see where these kids end up.

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