By Marissa Carney
For a large number of young athletes, the dream of making it to the major leagues and to the professional level of the sport they love is their No. 1 goal.
To play at the collegiate level of a sport and in order to be successful an athlete must put his or her heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into the game.
Unfortunately, even with all the time spent, effort and years of experience, a majority of athletes will never be able to suit up in a professional uniform.
“It takes a lot of work, dedication, patience and sacrifice, of course,” said Aleksander Milovic, professional basketball player and CBU alumnus. “In the first place goes love for this sport that taught me how to fight, how to live and that I can not give up ever. The hardest battles are against the injustice that is in all sports, especially in basketball. I learned how to look at it as on challenge and try to give my best to win all obstacles.”
In 2012, the National Collegiate Athletic Association released percentages on the probabilities of various sports and the probability of collegiate athletes making it to professional careers.
λ Baseball: 11.6 percent
λ Football: 1.7 percent
λ Men’s Basketball: 1.2 percent
λ Women’s Basketball: .09 percent
λ Men’s Hockey: 1.3 percent λ Men’s Soccer: 1.0 percent
The high school percentages are even lower, ranging below the 1 percent mark.
Hawaii basketball player transfer Garrett Jefferson, senior communications major, said the low probability of having a professional basketball career does not detract him from wanting to play at a collegiate level, although it may discourage some athletes.
“The benefits of playing college basketball helps with other aspects in life, like getting a free education because it makes the college experience easier,” he said.
College athletes differ from the average student. Their athletic ability puts them at an advantage in pursuing a college degree due to financial assitance through scholarships, extra academic assistance and tutoring.
Possessing the talent to make a successful career in the professional sports industry is rare based on the percentages given in the NCAA release.
That is not to say that every child who grows up dreaming of becoming a professional athlete will not make it.
Just by making it to the collegiate level in itself is a huge accomplishment and will benefit players for years to come.
Regardless of the slim chance of turning their sport into a professional career, athletes gain many benefits from participating in college athletics.
College athletes have the unique ability to compete in what they love while they work toward their bachelor’s degree at the same time.