Baylor point guard Kenny Chery worried about his future.

He had solid grades and a proven work ethic. He was a strong competitor who had left his family in Montreal to pursue Division I basketball opportunities.

After he finished high school in Washington, D.C., and the time arrived for the Canadian prospect to apply for colleges, however, he encountered a challenge that his 3.2 GPA could not help him overcome.

The NCAA Clearinghouse refused to grant Chery eligibility to play at the next level. The Canadian classes on his transcript, some of which weren't deemed adequate, complicated his journey.

"Some classes back home, they don't use them here as core credits," Chery said. "For example, history. We don't learn the same history."

So he had to take a detour to State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo.

It's unfair to stereotype an entire pool of talent, yet the "junior college" tag often elicits skepticism within the college basketball community. But that perception might be changing, especially for coaches seeking mature players who can fill key holes on their rosters.

"I just knew that I had to do what I had do to get here," said Wichita State's Darius Carter, who attended Vincennes University in Vincennes, Ind., before joining the Shockers. "I wasn't really worried about how I'd be labeled. I just wanted to stand out as one of those guys that's not a 'juco guy,' one of those types of people."

There are many examples of athletes who have succeeded after junior college. Players such as Steve Francis, Jimmy Butler, Avery Johnson, Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman were all juco products before successful NBA runs.