Jeremy Tyler was all of 18 years old when he decided to give up his senior year of high school in San Diego to play professionally in Israel. The reasoning behind the 6-foot-11, 260-pound Tyler's decision is that wanted to play against better competition.
"I was the best player in San Diego this year [2008-09] and it was boring," he said. "Next year, it would be extremely boring."
With the help of advisor Sonny Vaccaro, he signed a one-year contract with Maccabi Haifa for $140,000.
It was a turbulent few months overseas for Tyler, chronicled in part by the ESPN video with this post, and last week Tyler left the squad and returned home to Southern California with more than a month left in the season.
"It's what he wanted to do in both instances," Vaccaro told the Los Angeles Times. "He's coming home to work out, he'll work out for other teams and probably go to Europe and play [professionally] next year."
Tyler gave a commitment to Louisville as a high school junior, but can't play college ball because he has played professionally. The NBA is out because the league stipulates that players must be 19 and one year removed from high school. That rule also keeps him out of the NBA Development League, so that leaves Europe as his only option.
Tyler is planning to attend an Italian camp in June that will include European pro players and lower-round NBA draft picks.
Former Stanford standout Casey Jacobsen writes in a column for Slam that you haven't heard the last of Tyler.
"Remember, just one season ago, Brandon Jennings was collecting splinters on his backside in Rome during his first year as a professional basketball player. Now, he’s being mentioned as a possible candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year Maybe someday Jeremy Tyler’s basketball story will have a happy ending that will rival Brandon’s, but it’s going to take more time. Chapter One of this novel is over … and it wasn’t pretty. I still want to stick around and read the rest of the book, though. I love a good comeback story."