Back to School with Jodie Meeks

Back to School

You won't find Lakers guard Jodie Meeks traveling around Europe or sitting on a beach somewhere a few weeks into the offseason after a tough 2012-13 campaign.

He's too busy in a University of Kentucky classroom.

After making himself eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft after three seasons at the University of Kentucky, Meeks vowed to return one day to finish his degree, and is once again working towards that goal in Lexington, Ky.

"When I was making my decision if I was going to leave school after my junior year, I told myself and my family that I was going to return to finish school," Meeks explained to over the phone. "I still have 18 hours left. I took a class in the summers of 2010 and 2011 and am taking one again, trying to chip away so that in a couple more summers I'll be done."

After completing the course he began last week in marketing that will last a month, he'll have four more classes to complete until he can graduate. Marketing is Meeks' major, and it's been a good area upon which he can focus.

Jodie Meeks

"(This class) is a lot of information in a short period of time," he said. "I'm doing a presentation right now about how to start a business, which is what I'm thinking about doing after basketball anyways."

Meeks counts fashion as an interest alongside marketing and computers, the latter of which he picked up in part from his father.

Meeks' dad worked for IBM for 25 years as a salesman, and now works for Microsoft, while his mother works as a book keeper at a middle school in Atlanta, where his parents live and Jodie makes his offseason home. His folks were critical in his decision to finish his degree, as both hold diplomas of their own.

"Finishing my degree is a big deal for my family, and when I decided to leave early, they supported me but always advised that I go back to school to get my degree," said Meeks. "It's very important."

Meanwhile, Meeks remains focused on improving his basketball game in the offseason … though he first has to get healthy.

Meeks averaged 7.9 points in his first season with the Lakers, shooting 35.7 percent from three-point range, playing in 78 games and starting 10 before his season ended with an ankle sprain in Game 1 of L.A.'s playoff loss to San Antonio.

"Right now I'm still taking it easy because of my ankle, which is still bothering me," he said. "The swelling is going down and it's feeling better, but not good enough to start working out."

When he's well enough, Meeks will get on the court at Kentucky before returning home to Atlanta to work with a trainer in preparation for the 2013-14 NBA season.

And he'll do so one step closer to becoming a college graduate.