As the song goes, John Wall's future is so bright that he's gotta wear shades. One year of college and then on to the NBA, perhaps as the first overall pick in the 2010 draft. Millions of dollars, endorsement deals, beautiful women and all the other spoils of the life would follow in short order. Yes, things were looking good for young Mr. Wall.
Alas, teenage hijinx caught up with him and made things a bit murkier.
Authorities said Wall, 18, was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering in connection with an April 27 afternoon break-in at an unoccupied house for sale at 3924 Laurel Glen Drive in Raleigh ... Police said an officer saw Wall leaving from the rear of the residence around 12:30 p.m. and was able to detain him. There was no forced entry at the residence and no indication that anything was taken from it. Authorities would not say what he might have been doing there.
If Wall had already signed with a college team, it would probably be easier to deal with the fallout from the arrest, which on the scale of one to Michael Vick seems fairly minor. It was always my assumption that breaking and entering required forced entry, but we shall see how everything plays out. The school might place him on probation or suspend him for a game, but once Wall was in the fold they probably wouldn't want to act too rashly about cutting him loose.
Now, though, it may be hard for coaches like Mike Krzyzewski, Bill Self and Roy Williams to justify handing Wall a scholarship. At such prominent, talented programs one-and-done is a tough sell anyway, but now it may be too far a gap for the coaches to bridge.
Kentucky is also on the list, and it will be interesting to see how John Calipari proceeds. The only criticism of Calipari when he moved to Lexington was his propensity for cutting corners. It would look a tad unseemly, then, for his first big signing to be a player who was recently arrested. That said, Wall's talent would make it much easier for Wildcats fans to swallow any negative press, especially since this isn't the Lufthansa heist we're talking about.
There are other schools in the mix, and there may even be a chance that Wall is eligible for the 2009 draft, so it's not like Wall is going to see his career end because of this indiscretion. It will be interesting to see how things progress, but chances are that Wall will still have his choice of several fine landing spots when he chooses the next stop on the ladder.