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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.


  • Jul 5, 20126:44 pm
    by Guus


    Thanks for clearing that up, Dan :)
    But indeed, as is pretty much the point you’re trying to make, it is irrelevant. What is relevant is how far along he is in terms of physical development. We don’t know ofcourse how far along Drummond is, as his physical development is uniquely, well, his.. All we have is an estimate, based on something we all share as human beings: we age. So all that matters if we want to try and predict anything is his actual age, which is 18, and if I’m not mistaken, 19 by the time next season starts. And that we knew all along :)

  • Jul 5, 20127:08 pm
    by labatts


    I really do not recommend leaving high school early.

    • Jul 5, 20127:33 pm
      by tarsier


      How is this comment even vaguely relevant to anything?

      • Jul 5, 20127:56 pm
        by labatts


        Sorry.  This is like at parties when my wife says “he thinks he’s being funny.”

  • Jul 5, 20127:54 pm
    by DasMark


    Thanks for the clarification. There was a lot of misinformation going around due to his age. 

    I don’t care what age he is, I care about how well he plays. He and the Ukranian chap will hopefully make an excellent center rotation.

  • Jul 5, 20128:05 pm
    by MarkS


    less than 4 days till Drummond wears a piston jersey for the first time in live game action

  • Jul 6, 201212:40 pm
    by Todd


    I think the challenge with this story is that most people hear portions of it which include that last August, Drummond suddenly decided to forgo the prep year he was going to take and reclassified as a 2011 recruit. However, they don’t realize he had already graduated from high school in 2011, and simply was looking at opting for an extra year of school, to prep for college (which has been the route others have taken). 

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