NBA Reps Visit With Rebel Hoops Players

Oct. 20, 2010

OXFORD, Miss. - With the Ole Miss basketball program bringing in elite athletes and producing more and more professional players, there is an increasing need for the current Rebels to receive instruction on what happens after their days in Oxford come to a close.

Members of the Ole Miss administration, along with head coach Andy Kennedy and his staff, offer daily advice to the players on what it takes to get to the next level, whether that is professional basketball or any other career.

The team had a particularly special afternoon of advice last week. Members of the Memphis Grizzlies front office and a couple of former Rebels who played hoops professionally sat in on a panel for an NBA Life Skills seminar, presented by Ole Miss assistant athletics director Jamil Northcutt this past Wednesday.

`Life Skills seminars are just another form of education that we try to provide for our student-athletes," Northcutt said. "They have a tremendous impact on the present and future behaviors of all parties involved. The seminars dispense factual and truthful information about the temporary life as a professional athlete. It also helps our student-athletes examine their motives, discover their purpose in life and reprioritize their plans for the near and distant future."

Grizzlies front office personnel that met with Rebel players were Dana Davis, Vice President of Basketball Operations/Team Programs; Kenny Williamson, Assistant General Manager; and Teresa Dickerson, Director of Community Investment. Former Ole Miss players Keith Carter and Jason Smith, who both played professionally overseas, also served on the panel.

The group discussed the likelihood of making an NBA roster, the average playing career of an NBA player (4.4 years), the importance of staying in school and developing life skills, the evaluation process, behavior/conduct, image/branding, career transition and finding your purpose in life.

"They stressed the importance of getting your degree, managing your money and having a plan," senior point guard Chris Warren said. "They say the average NBA career is four to five years. Overall, as a team, I think having them meet with us was beneficial."

"The session was great," added sophomore guard Nick Williams. "It opened my eyes to the hardships of the NBA and all the hard work it takes to succeed. I really appreciate the time they took out of their day to talk to us."

Under Kennedy's administration, several Ole Miss players have moved on to the professional basketball ranks. In addition to Terrico White, the 36th player selected in the 2010 NBA Draft, several Rebels have begun professional careers overseas, including Todd Abernethy, DeAundre Cranston, Dwayne Curtis, Bam Doyne, David Huertas and Kenny Williams. Former hoopster Jermey Parnell is in the midst of an NFL career and has recently been picked up by the Dallas Cowboys as an offensive tackle. Other former players have started careers outside of basketball.

"The information that was provided during the NBA Life Skills program was very beneficial for our players," Kennedy said. "To hear it from the front office personnel of an NBA franchise reaffirms the points that we try to make each and every day."

 

 

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