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Big Bucks Only a Signature Away for Broward's High School Hoops Sensation

Brandon Knight, the 6-foot-3 point guard from Pine Crest Academy in Fort Lauderdale, is ranked by recruiting service as the top high school senior in the nation. And you can bet he noticed how last week, a player who was neck-and-neck with Knight for that honor, Jeremy Tyler, broke the hearts of college recruiters by signing a contract to play professional basketball in Israel. To do so, Tyler's dropping out of his San Diego high school.

By NBA standards, Tyler's $140,000 salary is a pittance, but it's a helluva lot more than he would have made as a high school senior. Or the following year as a college freshman.

It was followed by all the usual self-interested lamentations of college basketball fans, who scream about the importance of the kid's education when what they really care about is watching him play hoops. For all the dangers that come with making six-figures as a teenager, there's at least as many threats in college. Just ask the two former Broward football stars, Justin Feagin and Kevin Bryant.

But there's at least as much danger that a young man will lose his way with all the temptations that come with being a basketball star in high school and college than those that come with earning such a handsome salary as a high school dropout.

There's no sign that Knight is serious -- yet -- about following Tyler overseas. That's good news for Duke University, the University Connecticut and the University of Florida, who are named among his finalists.

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Thomas Francis

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