Myth: Andre Drummond should have been in high school last year

Among the many reasons Andre Drummond was a great pick by the Pistons: He’s just 18 years old. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the only younger player drafted this year.

But as is often the case with promising Pistons, Drummond praise has drifted toward hyperbole. Many have said something along the lines of “Drummond should have been in high school last year.”

It’s not true.

Drummond did not graduate high school early. Many football players graduate midway through their senior year of high school so they can enroll in college in time for spring practice. That is not what Drummond did.

Like an overwhelming majority of American high school graduates, Drummond spent four years in high school.

Joe Pelletier of The Middletown Press:

When it came time for high school, Drummond picked out Capital Prep … Drummond, just about fully grown at 6-foot-10, stuck around the Hartford magnet school for two years before transferring to Oakdale’s St. Thomas More School.

Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated:

For the last two years, Drummond attended St. Thomas More, a prep school in Oakdale, Conn. After graduating this spring, he is academically qualified to play in college this fall.

That’s two years at Capital Prep and two years at St. Thomas More for a total of four years of high school. The confusion comes because Drummond initially planned to take a fifth year at a prep school during the 2011-12 school year. Associated Press:

Middletown native Andre Drummond, considered by many to be the top prep player in the nation, announced today he will spend a post-graduate year at Wilbraham & Monson Academy (WMA) in Wilbraham, Mass.

But Drummond scrapped those plans and joined UConn in August.

So, could Drummond have been in high school last year? Yes. Should he have been? In the sense that maybe the unconventional route would have been best for him, sure. In the sense that he jumped to college sooner than other high school players? No.

Drummond is young for his class, and that makes him more valuable to the Pistons. But he’s not absurdly young for his class. I was younger for my graduating class than Drummond (and Kidd-Gilchrist), and in a clarification that I’m sure my teachers would find completely unnecessary even to acknowledge, I did not skip any grades.

There’s nothing wrong with saying Drummond is young, but let’s not go overboard and say he belonged in high school last year, or by extension, UConn next year. He’s right where he belongs.