As Nyeshia Stevenson’s three point prayer rattled out in the dying seconds against Louisville, a question flashed through Courtney Paris’ head: where the hell am I going to get sixty-four grand? The All American Senior Center from Oklahoma guaranteed a national championship to Sooner fans. Paris was so confident in her team’s abilities that she put her scholarship on the line.
While the statement by Paris was more motivational than anything else, she is put in an awkward position now. As an out-of-state student at Oklahoma, the scholarship is valued somewhere in the neighborhood of $64,000. Paris will go high in the WNBA draft, but the average rookie salary in the league somewhere close to a blue collar $40,000. Paris, who said after the final four loss that she will do good on her promise, faces the reality that a vast majority of college students face after they walk for their diploma. She will be up to her ears in debt.
I must say that I am impressed by the fact that she has not backed down from her statement. Paris seems seriously poised to pay the school back. Most likely Oklahoma will release some kind of statement in the upcoming days saying they will not accept the money from the double- double machine. I’m sure this was a wake up call for Paris, but maybe it will help other student athletes take notice of how much their college education is costing their classmates, and even the walk- on teammates they play with.
College is one of the biggest investments most people make in their lives. Paris was playing with house money, and she may end up as the first professional basketball player to make regular student loan payments.