The pros and cons of turning professional

first_imgThough the stars of athletics make nowhere near the money gained by their peers in football, boxing, golf, Formula One and the domestic American sports, it’s becoming more tempting for young prospects to make the big move. They’d best beware. It’s not for everyone. Young American high-school sprinters Kaylin Whitney and Candace Hill have recently parlayed their promise into the pros at age 16. Here at home, Jaheel Hyde and Michael O’Hara are both foregoing their last year of high school eligibility to take the pro road. From all reports, both Hyde and O’Hara have tertiary studies built into their plans. That’s smart because there’s no absolute guarantee of a lucrative career in the professional ranks. Injury or loss of form can turn things upside down. Ristananna Tracey left Edwin Allen High School as the second fastest junior 400-metre hurdler of all-time. Sadly, through a combination of circumstances, she has not made progress. Hopefully, her change of training camps to G.C. Foster College will bear fruit, for one whose potential for greatness is still undeniable. IGNORE EDUCATION In a world where proven champions like Norwegian javelin great Andreas Thorkildsen can lose their sponsorship if they lag behind top form, young prospects take a risk when they ignore education. On the other side of the coin is Danielle Williams. She left The Queen’s School as a fine prospect, but not a star. She took the traditional route to college in US scholarship and now she is World Champion. The recent ISSA ruling barring professionals from Boys and Girls Championships forces high school student athletes and their families to decide. Missing Champs is one thing, but missing college is another even more critical decision. If things don’t work out athletically, then the unsuccessful young professional could find himself or herself out on a limb without no income from the sport and no college qualification at 24 or 25. Luckily, today’s world has options. If they prefer, they can stay in Jamaica, where a growing number of tertiary institutions are offering scholarships to student athletes. They can do what Herb McKenley did 1942 and take a US sport scholarship. As Omar McLeod has done recently at the University of Arkansas, student athletes can turn pro early with their sponsors obliged to pay for the remainder of their college tuition. Both routes have produced success, academically and athletically. To be fair, some sportsmen can take the risk to forego college. Usain Bolt and Lebron James are examples of super successful athletes who went pro early and skipped college. However, since no one can be absolutely sure of their athletic future, the best option is to keep academics in the picture.last_img read more


first_imgA Kilmacrennan man left another man in a wheelchair after he smashed into him after drinking five pints of beer before driving home in his jeep.Manus ‘Mandy’ Sweeney was left with horrific injuries after he was struck by a jeep being driven by Brian Rodden on September 1st, 2009.Rodden had consumed five pints at the Millbridge Bar before trying to drive just over a mile to his home. However Rodden’s jeep veered across the road just outside Kilmacrennan village and struck Mr Sweeney’s van head-on.Mr Sweeney had to be cut form his van and was rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital before being transferred to a Dublin hospital for treatment.The court was told that Mr Sweeney, 63, was initially a wheelchair but now needs crutches to get around on and was more-or-less housebound.The court also heard how Rodden has since been charged with ANOTHER case of drink-driving which is also before the courts.Rodden told the court that he had tried to phone his victim but Mr Sweeney’s wife said she did not think it was a good idea.He told Letterkenny Circuit Court “I’m very sorry for what has happened to him and his family and if I could take it back I would.”Barrister Peter Nolan said his client is trying to come to terms with his drinking and is attending addiction services.Judge John O’Hagan said it was a tragedy for both sides in the case because he did not think Rodden was a man who would normally come before the courts.However he said it troubled him greatly that the accused had another drink-driving case “in the pipeline.”He sentenced Rodden to 18 months in prison for dangerous driving causing serious injury and suspended the last six months.AT HEARING © 2011, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on us on anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comDRINK-DRIVER JAILED FOR 18 MONTHS AFTER HE LEFT VICTIM IN WHEELCHAIR was last modified: November 13th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brian Roddendangerous driving causing serious injuryManus ‘Mandy’ Sweeneylast_img read more