NBA Draft prospect and 6’6 shooting guard Terrance Ferguson isn’t the first to play overseas in what should have been his freshman season in college, and he’s advocating to not be the last. A top-20 prospect out of high school, Ferguson had his pick of colleges. He committed to two actually, first Alabama and then Arizona. Ultimately, he opted to play for the Adelaide 36ers in Australia.
Ferguson: Most one-and-done players only spend a few months in college. You have to do schoolwork and all this other stuff. You go overseas, you spend the same amount of months, but you’re focusing straight on basketball. I feel like more players should do it.
At college, the only people making money off you are the coaches. You’re not making anything off your jersey sales, ticket sales. Not anything. So go overseas, the way I did, and get your money’s worth. Get paid for what you’re doing.
Ferguson’s thoughts overlap with the reasons most prospects give for heading abroad, including that they don’t have to waste time taking classes they won’t finish, and they’ll be paid for their work instead of playing in college for free. Ferguson was reportedly paid near $1 million in Australia and had the chance to focus on his career.
Ferguson also mentions that coaches are the only ones who profit from the players’ work, and although that decision is out of their hands, they are living large on multi-million dollar contracts. Rick Pitino and John Calipari took in over $7 million each last season.
The question of going overseas or not will remain a year-by-year issue until a solution is made by the league. Getting rid of the draft minimum age may be the solution that keeps the world’s top talents, like Ferguson, in North America.
For now, going overseas has shown solid draft success. In 2015, Emmanuel Mudiay was taken No. 7 overall and in 2009, Brandon Jennings was taken No. 10. It’s still days before the draft, but Ferguson’s stock doesn’t seem to have taken much of a hit for opting to go overseas, either. Draft Express currently projects that he’ll go No. 23 overall.