- SIMILARITY: Getting Paid. You total up the cost of a full ride education; books, room, board, summer school, and I would say you should be VERY thankful for that degree when you graduate. Playing basketball whether in college or professionally is the best job on earth. Therefore, change your attitude when you run 10 suicides, redshirt a year to GET BETTER, or have an injury setback. Every job has its challenges, but this job has great rewards. How many jobs keep you fit, provide you friendships for life, and teach you how to persevere?
- DIFFERENCE: Retention. Athletes will feel the pressure to perform at both the college and professional level. However, you don't get cut or traded from your college team like you do professionally. Can you imagine if it were possible in the Big Sky to trade players? Sherri Murrell calls up Robin Selvig and says, I am low on fours, you want to trade Sara Ena for Erin Jones?
- SIMILARITY: Same game, just minor changes. In Australia, the ball is bigger, the 3 point line further out, the key wider, and the uniforms MUCH tighter. In the WNBA, there are four quarters, you can advance the ball with a timeout, and you can foul one more time each game. When it's all said and done, however, it is much like Hoosiers. Take the measuring tape, and the rim is exactly the same height every gym you walk into. You compete!
- DIFFERENCE: Multi tasking. It is harder to be a successful college student athlete than it is a professional one because you have to go to class and study on top of performing on the court. When I played professionally, I got PLENTY of sleep and got to work on my game whenever I wanted. The hardest part about playing professionally is not abusing all of the extra time on your hands and spending all of your per diem money.
Whether your goal is to play college or professional basketball just remember one thing. You can't play competitively forever. You better make sure you are ready for your future after you put those shoes up.
What an opportunity to play for as long as you can and know that you have the certification in hand for when it is time to take the next step.