Street agents continue to take toll on kids

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: December 28, 2008

HOUSTON — One of the top five players in the country is about to take a trip with her basketball team. Because of her status, the team was invited to attend, all expenses paid.

But the high school coach never informs the rest of the players on the team or their parents about the trip. NO TOP PLAYER, DON’T BRING TEAM!

Another player has committed to play at a Division I school. Despite player hating and not finding out the facts, rumors start surfacing that the kid is still available. The coach will get a big pay-off if they can convince her to switch her college choice.

Somethings wrong with this picture!

And lastly no one thinks about the middle school kids except Ralph Cooper from KCOH radio. He started the Ralph Cooper Stars of the Future Middle School Basketball tournament and after about 25 years it’s going strong.

However, middle school kids from across the country are being flown in just to showcase their talent. Since when do middle school kids start being able to travel without an AAU team?

Street agents are all around and their usually people that you least expect. Gone are the days of just wanting to help the kids. Everything cost a fee right now. It’s horrible. One day camps are costing about $200.00, and people think that we’re in a recession.

Don’t get me wrong, help is needed for the middle school kids, as well as girls basketball in general. I expect for middle school kids not to have the skills to be able to dribble and shoot the ball properly, but when I see high school kids not being able to dribble, I have a problem with that.

Street Agents offer a financial payoff, before the actual pay-day! One top boys player in the Greater Houston area participated in a tournament last month that one of the local school districts were hosting.

The kid got mad at the coach because he got benched and they lost the game. The kid gave the coach too much lip.

After the game, the same kid stormed off the court, pulled off his jersey, pulled his shorts down below his butt, and didn’t even attempt to show good sportsmanship towards the other team.

He went straight to the lockerroom, and cursed the >head coach out and then stormed out and went upstairs and out of the arena.

The result- the kid sat out two games and he’s still on the team. The coach is crazy! This kid has been told by his street agent that all he has to do is get out of high school, play one year of college at his Big 12 school and then he can make it to the NBA.

You would have one time to curse me out and you would be turning in your uniform. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!! The kid has his hands full right now, just trying to make the grade to get out of high school.

We’ll see if he graduates in May/June of 2009.

Some parents are selling out their children to a smooth-talking street agent, who gives them a list of what they can provide. Yes they drive fancy cars, wear nice clothes and things like that, but the money that’s passed under the table is enormous.

The night before early signing day last month, another Houston area kid parents received over ten phone calls with people representing colleges offering millions of dollars for them to sign with their school.

The NCAA makes millions of dollars off of our kids and they never see it.

Vince Young No. 10 jersey’s were sold at the University of Texas and they still are being sold. He has made billions of dollars for the NCAA and he will never see it.

It’s sad, but the street agent game is getting worse.

I commend those high school and middle school coaches who truly care about their players. But I look down on those who are using their kids to try to get a kick-back.

Coaches are supposed to be coaching and teaching, NOT SELLING!!!!!!