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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Making the Leap: Basketball Player phenom Jeremy Tyler's tumultuous journey from high school to the Israeli Premier League


By making the unprecedneted decision to drop out of high school and play professional basketball in Israel, Jeremey Tyler positioned himself at the center of a continuing debate regarding the system training elite athelets in the United States.  By deciding that, for him, basketball training need not be tied to academic performance, he aroused strong opinions from both suppoters and detractors. I wanted to see the experience through Tyler's eyes and convey what day-to-day life was like for him once he moved to Israel.  In order to tell this story, I arranged to visit Tyler in Israel, using a travel grant from the Journalism School.  I then traveled to Haifa in December, spending several days in his world, both on and off the court.  There, I was able to gain insight into what life is like not only for an American playing basketball abroad, but for a teenage kid living the life of an adult.

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