You can make up your own mind about the "uncle Eds" of the world. They get parents (or aunties etc) who are often illiterate to sign over guardianship of the kids. The kids gets dragged allover the world, to whatever team will line his pockets, usually avoiding anything resembling an actual education. When the kid doesn't make it to the NBA (as the vast majority do not) he is left broke, uneducated, and bitter.
I'm not a big fan of the "system" as it is, but at least if these kids got a high-school level education, and hopefully even a college diploma, out of it, that would be something.
The really bad part about kids like Thon, is that they are being taken from Australia where they would have received a decent FREE education any way.