Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 at 10:36 am  |  44 responses

Skipping College Was Hardest Decision of Amar’e Stoudemire’s Life

Amar’e Stoudemire reflects on his education, as quoted by the New York Times Magazine: “Deciding to go to the N.B.A. and pass on being a part of what University of Memphis had to offer was the hardest choice I have made in my life. I am not sure if I’ll get my degree or not. I have taken college classes during my summers off, but it’s tough to fit traditional learning into my work schedule so I take classes on the Internet when I can. And I am very focused on continuing to learn new things. My foundation and most of my charitable work focus on creatively inspiring youth to get an education. I think education is the key for people to avoid poverty…”

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Money Mayweather

    interesting. Woulda thought it’d be leaving PHX for NYC.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I thought refusing to play D was?

  • http://Slam Gerald Merriweather III

    Shouldn’t have been hard. College isn’t all it is said to be. He made the smartest choice to me.

  • bike

    Well, getting drafted high right out of high school and signing a multi-million dollar contract is a pretty good way to avoid poverty. That is, assuming you are talented enough to beat the one in three million odds of becoming an NBA player.

  • Britton

    Yea, skipping college to go make millions of dollars seems pretty difficult. Especially since you can always go back to college. Give me a break.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    This is the same dude that went to 6 HS’s in 4 years, right?

  • logues

    ….until he saw his first paycheck

  • LA Huey

    I’m glad he said that. Hopefully it’ll inspire young kids with hoop dreams to still put in work at school and not put all their kids in the pro baller basket.

  • EJ

    What was he supposed to say? DON’T GO TO COLLEGE KIDS!!

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHoliday

    Soo who wrote this for Amare? I doubt a 17 yr old with millions looking him in the face is thinking, ” But damn, should I go to Memphis?”

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHoliday

    And I should probably correct myself now… I think it’s pretty safe to say Amare was probably 19 or 20 when he finished high school and not 17… yeaa, I doubt he was thinking about school! Nice quote to present to the youth, but far from the truth!

  • LA Huey

    *put all their eggs…

  • EJ

    And this decision would be much harder, if he didn’t have a guaranteed NBA future ahead of him.
    If you’re a relatively poor regular guy thinking should you go to college or not, you have to consider that is it actually gonna be worth taking massive loans to pay for your education, when the only thing that’s guaranteed is that jobs won’t be easy to find.
    With a guy like Amare, it won’t really matter what he does. “Do I wait a year or 2 before massively cashing in, to get an education I won’t really need?”

  • chingy

    Amare is funny

  • chingy

    They really need to get rid of this whole one year in college before being eligible rule.


    ^ that rule gotta go. Most of this league’s biggest superstars never went to college. I mean Kobe, lbj and Amare are just a few

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Amare has a history of promoting education and is clearly a “self learner.”
    Just because he decided as a youngster to skip college to make millions doesn’t mean he doesn’t value education, or that he’s not smart. It likely means that given the circumstances of his life (mother with substance abuse problems, troubled home life) it made since to go get his money immediately.
    Y’all are weird.

  • Easy-E

    “Shouldn’t have been hard. College isn’t all it is said to be. He made the smartest choice to me.”

    I have to agree. I have my degree, but more and more, college is lookin’ like a scam. We’ve taught children that it’s a necessity to success. In reality; with a changing economy and tuition goin’ up every year, it’s becoming more difficult to get to.

    You want an education? The library is free.

    College is about gettin’ a job and networking. I don’t like how they romanticize it, makin’ it the “right thing to do.”

    There’s nothing “pure” about it. It’s a business first.

    We need to teach children the alternatives out there. Of course, if you want to learn a trade, go to college. But, you’re wasting your money if you’re “gettin’ an education” for hundreds of thousands of dollars and graduating without a job.

  • Jason Heartly

    Very good summary AllenP. That actually put alot of things into perspective.

  • Charles

    One dimensional Amare.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    Yall acting like Amar’e knew he would be a lottery pick and blossom into an NBA superstar. Its still a risky decision to make. And even if he doesn’t believe an ounce of what he said, it’s still a good message to give to the youth who may look up to him.
    With that said, I agree with Easy-e. College alone doesn’t guarantee you much of anything nowadays. Companies want people with experience over anything else and they don’t count hours sitting in a classroom as experience. Network, network, network!

  • patrick

    Wow, i’d say he’s had a pretty easy life if that was his hardest decision.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    since my comment won’t come up, and I can’t resubmit it because it’s a “duplicate” – even though I sent my comment 10 minutes ago and it didn’t show up, I’ll just summarize. — If you know your getting drafted in the first round, it is ALWAYS better then College. ALWAYS. You will make more then $1M dollars guaranteed, your first year in the NBA. You never ever have the guarantee of doing that in a single year, hell in a lifetime, if you go to college. You can take 1/40th of your money off that 1 Year contract and pay for a college education in your home-state.

  • http://j.mp/r3xvbr Allenp

    So, Slam needs to post this story about Shaq that’s in the Miami New Times.
    You must read this story. It is imperative. Click my name for the link.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    That was back in the days when I used to feel bad for John Calipari cause recruits were always sh*tting on him.
    Amare, Kendrick Perkins, Qyntel Woods, etc.
    I don’t feel sorry for him anymore. lol

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    That Shaq story is crazy, and I’m only on page 2

  • Rainman

    my thoughts exactly, woulda thought it was leaving phx for NY…

    but then again, when phx wasnt willing to give u that guranteed money, maybe that choice wasnt that hard really.

  • robb

    @Allenp I don’t think Slam would post something like that. That’s some heavy, heavy stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    King of Diesel Dog Mafia!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    That Shaq story is old.. I’ve read about it before…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Nobody else finds it odd that only 1 newspaper is running the story? And every single person who accuses O’neal of anything has not one, but a number of charges in their past? — Or how about the lack of any real evidence? E-Mails, that come from a criminal, who has access to your account *(meaning he can forge the e-mails himself) are hardly proof of anything other then associating with the wrong people. Do I think some of this is true? Probably, but jeez, this seems unrealistic

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Why is the article dated Thurs, Sept 22, 2011…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Because it’s a new article. With pieces of old news in it. But the overall scope of the accusations is new.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    But today is only Sept 20, 2011…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I realized that right after I submitted my comment. idk I’ve been tryna figure that out

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Weird story… I don’t know how much truth there is in it though. Until I know more Shaq remains the big funny guy in my mind.

  • blakos

    Damn shaq damn

  • blakos

    Darling dude sounds suss as though

  • Kilo

    You know what I hate? when analysts say ” The NBA will always be their”. Get injured have or have a bad year and see if the NBA will be their then. If you wanna go to college the colleges will be their if your money smart and care about the degree after making so much money.

  • 7one8

    the debate here is understandable .. school is not for everybody! Unfortunately tho, most people work jobs and get by with lower-middle or middle class wages but what going to college does is presents opportunities. It may not seem like it but it gives you the chance to have a career not a life full of dead end jobs. With employment as scarce as it is employers are now taking degrees and education into account to filter out canidates. All that made me sound old as hell but im still in my mid 20′s and I regret not finishing college outta high school. I’m playing catch up while some of the same ppl I went to hs with have MBA’s and have 60k-90k salaries. It may not be the truth for Amare but the message still holds true for most regular people.

  • Allenp

    I don’t know how much ia true but none of it was implausible to me. Shaq has been petty and childish since Orlando. And I think he is a snake in a lot of ways.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Easy: Well that’s the point isn’t it? I don’t think college should JUST be about getting a job, but it’s pretty damn important, especially if you’re planning on going into anything related to the sciences. Good luck learning physics/chemistry/biology on your own and then trying to find work in those fields. Why would you deliberately tell someone not to go to college??
    College doesn’t make your dumber or smarter–but it IS something. It’s not the be-all end-all but for most people it’s probably a good idea, no matter what it is you want to do. A lot of people don’t know what they want to do either, and college gives them the opportunity to figure that out.
    I agree that the tuition for American schools, especially the private institutions, is pretty ridiculous.

  • Will Lee

    seriously? he won’t stay 4 years even if he enroll

  • http://facebook.com/situationeel lloydatoni

    long live spencer haywood