Showcasing his talents outside of music, Lil Romeo has had a successful Nickelodeon show and achieved a full athletic scholarship to attend the University of Southern California, yet doubts have surfaced questioning his merits alleging he unjustly won the award, according to a segment from National Public Radio.
With the support of his father, entertainer Percy Miller aka Master P, the 18-year-old rapper has had the luxury of having direct contact within the industry, allowing him to have sold over one million albums at the age of 11 and star in various films. Developing from a father to coach relationship, the duo came in to contact with the 2008 McDonalds All-American Dunk winner and NBA prospect Demar DeRozan through P’s off-season club team.
Aligning themselves with the Compton-based basketball star, the Millers continued to strengthen their relationship as Romeo and DeRozan played in tournaments together. According to NPR, Master P phoned USC coach Tim Floyd.
“Percy Miller called me and said, ‘Would you like to have Romeo and DeMar,’ and I said ‘Why sure—I’d love to have them’,” Floyd told NPR.
With a possible deal brewing, public speculation grew due to the lopsided comparisons of DeMar’s skills to the mediocre talent of Romeo.
“I think Tim Floyd did what he had to do to acquire an All-American prospect, namely DeMar DeRozan and it cost him two scholarships,” High school basketball talent scout Bob Gibbons admitted to NPR.
Another highly recognized basketball scout and colleague of Gibbons, Rob Matera, furthered the argument against Romeo’s over-hyped on-court skills by explaining his observations of the player at a Nike ABCD Camp.
“I think he played poorly. I thought he was one of the worst players in the camp,” Matera firmly told NPR.
Despite constant negative reactions against taking in Romeo, Floyd has remained true to his decision and why he kept the full athletic scholarship offer available.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I happen to like some things of Romeo—in terms of what he can do for the University of Southern California. And that’s our option. That’s the beauty about being a college basketball coach, you can build your program any way you want to build it,” he concluded.
As of now, only time will tell if the entertainer-turned-athlete is able to live up to his own hype as he will likely be amongst the likes of star O.J. Mayo, if not drafted in to the NBA, and DeMar.
Reported by Cyrus Langhorne.