Adonis Thomas: Coming To A Couple Of Stations Near You

Posted by jstevrtc on August 16th, 2010

Remember MTV? It’s evidently still popular with the kids these days, not so much for the playing of actual music videos, but…wait a minute.  I’m getting ahead of myself.

Remember music videos?  Oh, forget it.  Suffice to say, there’s still this thing called MTV and they now play alleged reality shows as often as they used to play music videos (go look those up yourself), and have even made a few forays into the world of sports.  Soon, they’ll even have a hand in college basketball, or at least in the life one particular kid who will be playing it starting in the fall of 2011.

As reported by CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish last week, Melrose High School in Memphis — the high school of Adonis Thomas, a consensus top ten recruit in the class of 2011 — will be featured on an upcoming MTV reality series similar to the Two-A-Days series that chronicled the lives of those kids from high school football powerhouse Hoover High in Alabama. Shooting could begin as early as this week, and it’s said the show will focus on the battle of, as Parrish writes, “inner-city minorities trying to repeat as state champions.”

Hey, sounds good.  We’d tune in for that.  But we wonder if the upcoming MTV series might have also led to this:

That’s from Adonis’ Facebook page, as you can tell.  We’ve all seen kids announce final college choices on ESPN-U before, so that’s nothing new.  We enjoy those a lot — almost as much as we enjoyed the eloquent invitation on Thomas’ page for him to stay at home and play at Memphis by the inarguably well-dressed Charles Sims, Jr.  But an ESPN-U appearance to announce a final list of colleges?  Is this something we should all be getting behind?

It’s accepted as axiomatic that elite-level high school basketball recruits (it happens in other sports, too, but the negative talk is usually focused on hoops prospects for some reason), as soon as their top-flight roundball skills are discovered, have people from agents to shoe salesmen to college coaches in their ears telling them how special and wonderful they are, and that nobody can treat them as well or manage their basketball careers as perfectly as the particular person talking to them at that moment.  Some kids buy into this aggrandizement of themselves, and some don’t.  For the ones who buy into it, it sometimes leads to questionable or downright bad decisions, because those suitors have their own interests in mind and not those of the players, despite what they tell the recruits.  We don’t know Adonis Thomas, and therefore don’t know into which of those two options he falls, though we have no reason to think anything but good things about him.  The kid’s battling to be the valedictorian of his high school class, so we’re already fans of his.  But this ESPN-U thing doesn’t help.

We won’t rehash the debate about basketball stars making overly dramatic and self-serving announcements on ESPN and its affiliates other than to say that after LeBron’s turn at it, we’ve all already had enough.  No, we’re not comparing Adonis Thomas to LeBron James, but a live television announcement on a national network just to reveal a final list of possible college choices is a high school recruit’s equivalent of the James fiasco, even if we were talking about a consensus #1 recruit. We want Thomas to enjoy every millisecond of his senior high school year and his time on MTV — and sure, even ESPN-U, if they’re fine with broadcasting it. But we hope this kind of thing isn’t a trend that future high school stars will cultivate.  For now, we’re happy to give the kid the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is something that has been engineered by MTV and/or ESPN-U for the sake of the reality show, and not something that Adonis Thomas has created just because he’s a big-time basketball recruit. Let’s save the television announcements for final college decisions.

jstevrtc (547 Posts)


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