Not going to Las Vegas will hurt his rankings by the various scouting services. Since when do rankings determine how good a basketball player you are?
So instead of playing up to four games a day in Vegas and risking injury, Dwayne Jr. is taking a Spanish class at a junior college and working out. "He didn't need to go to summer school and he could have missed a few days to play in Las Vegas, but that's not what we want to stress with Dwayne," says Yolanda.
For other parents the hard sell is tough to reject. When AAU coaches heard that junior-to-be Roberto Nelson, a top 16--ranked shooting guard for Santa Barbara ( Calif.) High, was planning to skip the Vegas events, he was inundated with calls. (Nelson used the three days of summer school he could miss to play in The Main Event.)
"They make it seem like if you don't let your kid go, you are hurting his future," says Bruce Nelson, Roberto's father.
The Polees heard that refrain, and they ignored it. "I know [players] who worry that not going [to Las Vegas] will hurt them," Dwayne Jr. says. "But I want to become a better player, and going to Las Vegas isn't going to help me do that."
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