Wednesday , Jun , 18 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Billy Hunter: High School Draftees Have 87% Success Rate

WSJ: Do you feel there should be any age limit?

Mr. Hunter: Well, there is no age limit in ice hockey. [The NHL requires players drafted this year to turn 18 before Sept. 15.] They sign them and send them to minor-league teams. Basketball in Europe is that way.

You’ve got coaches in college getting millions of dollars from playing these kids who get nothing more than a couple pairs of shoes. They go there simply to try to get ready to go to NBA. Then a coach leaves to get more money and goes off to wherever he can to promote his own personal career. Why should a kid not get that chance?

WSJ: But were there not some kids who messed up their lives by registering for the draft?

Mr. Hunter: We’ve had an 87 percent success rate of kids coming to NBA, and that means getting drafted, being signed and spending three or four years on the basketball team. No one is guaranteed five or six years. I played in the NFL. I lasted two years. [Wall Street Journal]