U.S Men's Olympic Basketball Team Speaks Out for Higher Education

By Catherine Groux
Posted July 24, 2012 10:56 AM

Many members of the 2012 men's Olympic basketball team have spoken out for higher education.
Many members of the 2012 men's Olympic basketball team have spoken out for higher education.
As the 2012 Summer Olympics quickly approach, many Americans are choosing their favorite athletes and preparing to watch them compete in London. Some of the most talked-about athletes making the journey "across the pond" are members of the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team. While Americans have watched these championship basketball players make a name for themselves on the court, the athletes have also established their excellence in the realm of higher education.

Like many athletes, most 2012 Olympic team members have not yet found the time to earn a bachelor's degree, but some are squeezing in classes whenever they have a free minute, hoping to set a good example for others. 

Russell Westbrook

California's Russell Westbook attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) before being drafted by the NBA. While the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar abandoned his dream of earning a bachelor's degree for the chance to go pro, only a year after being drafted he began to take classes at UCLA during the off-season. Slowly working toward a college degree, Westbook said he understands the importance of higher education.

"I have a younger brother, and it sets an example for him and how important it is," he told The New York Times

Kevin Durant

Before being drafted for the NBA, Washington, D.C.'s Kevin Durant was attending the University of Texas. Like Westbrook, he never got the chance to finish his bachelor's degree, but that does not mean he does not see the value of higher education. According to NBA.com, Durant promised himself and his family that he would continue working toward a bachelor's degree throughout his athletic career.

So far, Durant has taken summer classes whenever possible and looks forward to continuing his academic routine in the future. 

Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony attended Syracuse University, but chose to leave the school to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. However, in 2010, Anthony promoted the Get Schooled National Challenge and Tour, which aims to increase high school graduation rates and foster college readiness, The Associated Press reports. Anthony even admitted that once his basketball career slows down, he would like to return to college and earn a bachelor's degree.

"Education is something I'm big on," he told his audience during the tour. "This isn't something someone has to tell me to do or ask me a million times to do. It's something I feel comfortable with."

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