Frank Kaminksy was one of the best players in this year’s NCAA Tournament, and the skilled seven-footer could have parlayed that into an NBA draft pick this year. Instead, Kaminsky has decided to return to Wisconsin, and he explained his decision on his personal blog today. So often, we read players’ justifications for leaving, so this is definitely a breath of fresh air for college sports fans.
Kaminsky discusses his basketball career thus far, and how it is his dream to play in the NBA one day. He also admits that jumping to the NBA and “not being broke anymore” was a very appealing idea.
“…the thought of not being broke anymore was very appealing. I know I am going to college and pursuing my degree free of charge, but it comes to a point where you are tired of being broke. I hate looking in my bank account at the end of the month and seeing 20$ left in there. The appeal of potentially a lot of money would entice any collegiate athlete, or any college student for that matter.”
Ultimately, however, Kaminsky wasn’t ready to let go of the college lifestyle, or the unique atmosphere and excitement of the college game.
I know the NBA has their crazy fans and all, but if you look at all of their games, there are games when teams get hardly any fans, and it looks flat out boring. At the Kohl Center, we play in front of nearly 17,000 fans every single time we step onto the court. When we travel, we play in front of sell out crowds who absolutely hate us. Not because of who is on the team, but because of where we go to school. Who could leave that?
I am going to be honest, I absolutely love college. Call me Joe College if you please. I sat down and thought about it for a long time, and I kept coming back to the same exact point. I don’t think I would be able to live with the regret of skipping my last year of college to be a potential D-League player or end up in Europe.
Kaminsky is also bullish on Wisconsin’s chances to return to the Final Four and win it all next season.
I am 100% positive we are going to have a great team next year. We lose only one player from a team that made it to a Final Four, and everyone will have another year of experience. I’ve said this before, and I will say it again. I hate losing, so much to the point where I am willing to do anything to win. I don’t care if I average 2 points a game. As long as we are winning I am fine with it… I haven’t won enough in college to call it a career. Yea, we made it to the final four, but that doesn’t mean we won something. It’s a great accomplishment and few get to achieve it, but it isn’t winning it all.
The NBA isn’t going anywhere, so neither am I. I know my benefits of coming back to school just as well as I know my risks. But in this case, the benefits outweigh the risks. I made a commitment to the University of Wisconsin, and they made a commitment to me.
There is plenty more from Kaminsky, and the whole thing is an excellent read. He offers great insight in how difficult a decision it is, both for those who leave and those who return to school. He also comes across as incredibly honest and humble, and seems to have very good self-awareness as a player. One thing is certain—Wisconsin looks like a scary team with Kaminsky back in the fold in 2014-15.