Dear Mr. Lance Stephenson:
Schools from around the nation are drooling over your 6-foot-5, 195-pound frame and the 23.3 points and 7.25 rebounds you brought to the table this season.
It is the opinion of this sports editor that you should attend St. John’s University for your freshman year in 2009-10.
You might be asking why. Why would you want to play at a school that has a nearly 50-year-old arena (barring major renovations before the 2009-10 season) and that averaged 5,886 fans per game this past season?
Why not sign on with Duke, Georgetown or Kansas – just a few of your top choices according to rivals.com – universities that have state-of-the-art on-campus facilities and play in front of raucous fans?
Well, here’s one reason: you will play a lot at St. John’s. And when I say a lot, I mean 40 minutes per game.
The way it looks, you’re going to be a one-and-done. If you want to make yourself seen to the fullest extent, this is the place to do it.
The best competition in the country and 40-minute nights are only going to lead to exposure for you.
And hey, you’re from Brooklyn. I seem to remember a kid named Chris Mullin who was from Brooklyn and, in the mid-1980s, was on top of this city.
Who’s to say that that can’t be you? Unless you intend to turn St. Francis into a national powerhouse, this is the place to do it.
Oh, and by the way, Mullin went on to have a pretty lucrative career in the NBA.
Unfortunately for St. John’s, it looks like the school is off of your radar. That’s too bad, because there’s a lot to offer here for someone in your situation. And if you were to decide to stay for your second year of college before going to the NBA, there’s a good chance that you’d be able to bring the Johnnies back to the NCAA Tournament.
Earlier this season I claimed that St. John’s missing out on Sylven Landesberg wouldn’t hurt the program. I’d like to formally retract that statement. Oops. The Johnnies have no recruits in line for next season yet, but there is a core group of guys there that are hungry to win and who will only get better.
So why not step into a win-win situation? Use St. John’s as a stepping-stone to the NBA while taking over your home city, and at the same time help the Johnnies take back New York.