NBA's top draft pick heads back to class

The labor dispute between team owners and National Basketball Association players has already canceled 100 games and threatens to wipe out hundreds more. But in the interim, some players are making the most of their time off -- working on their minds.

Kyrie Irving, the 19 year old the Cleveland Cavaliers made the league's top draft pick, is one of those players. He headed back to Duke University in Durham, N.C., to take four courses this semester.

On "The Early Show," CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reported that the point guard's decision is to help fulfill a promise he made to his father, Drederick Irving. Kyrie Irving's dad starred for Boston University in the 1980's -- and graduated. Irving has promised him he, too, will finish college.

But Irving isn't just going back for his father. He's doing it for his own benefit, as well. He told Strassmann, "I want to (make a) mark in the basketball world, but at the same time, me having a mark on the real world is something I really want to do. And me having my degree when I'm finished playing this game, I'll be able to do it."

In the college basketball era of "one and done," many star basketball players leave campus and never come back. And for most of them, getting their diplomas one day is at best a passing thought.

But 52 players right now are taking college courses during the league's labor dispute, including Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook at UCLA, Stephan Curry at Davidson, and Tristan Thompson at Texas.

Only 25 percent of the NBA's 450 players have received their college degree.

For Strassmann's full report, click on the video above.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.