It’s understandable that someone might decide to go pro as a teen. Often, being a young athlete isn’t cheap. Some families spend thousands of dollars a year on equipment, coaching, and travel. Earning money to play can help teens afford to follow their dreams.
But teenagers who go pro face a lot of pressure to perform well. In addition, the intense training can be harmful to young bodies. Every year, kids and teens get millions of sports injuries. Focusing on just one sport, as professionals do, can increase the chance of injury—and just one injury can end a career.
Going pro early can also mean losing the chance to just be a kid. Bryson, who is now 18, gave up prom, class trips, and other typical high school experiences. But the 6’2” point guard sees it differently.
“I never feel like I’m missing out on stuff,” Bryson says. “I’m just getting ahead.”