Every basketball player has the dreams of making it to the NBA. Being in the NBA can lead to big money contracts and shoe deals. Shoot, look at James Harden, he just signed an extension to make $228 million over the next six years. However, we can’t all be James Harden.
Of all of the U.S. based high school student athletes playing basketball, it is estimated that 3.4% of them will play within some division of the NCAA.
Of those men that make it to the NCAA level, it is estimated that only 1.1% of them will make it to the NBA. However, when the NBA-G League and International opportunities are factored in, that 1.1% jumps to 19.1%2.
I would suggest you strive to be an NBA player, but you can still make plenty of money and form a brand by playing basketball overseas.
So you want to continue your basketball playing career? We’re going to teach you how to play basketball overseas.
Be Committed to the Process
When deciding that you want to play basketball overseas, the opportunities may not simply fall into your lap.
Knock down walls and create your own doors.
- Bench players at elite division 1 schools will have offers thrown their way regardless of if they can actually produce or not.
- If you are not at an elite program, you’re going to have to scratch and claw for an opportunity.
- Set it in your mind that you want playing basketball to be your career.
- Be willing to travel to different countries and immerse yourself in different cultures.
Start learning other languages and read a damn book about the countries that you may be traveling to.
- You don’t have to be a historian, but at least know enough to get the people to love you for your skills and social presence.
- Most younger people in other countries speak English, but try to learn a little of the native tongue.
Be prepared to receive criticism from your family and friends.
- People do not always understand the love of the game.
- “If people are not laughing at your goals, your goals are too small.” -Azim Premji
Get tape on yourself
- Most schools film their games
- Get every tape that you played in.
- Hire a video editor to cut out all of the useless stuff like when you were on the bench, timeouts, and free throws that you had nothing to do with.
- Have the editor also create a highlight tape of you making your best plays as well as playing fundamental defense.
- If your school does not film the games, have your friend or parent film the games. Or you can contact the opposing coach with self-addressed boxes/envelopes and ask for copies of the tape on a usb drive or dvd.
- Film is your job interview. Without film or being seen live, you’ll have to attend costly exposure camps which include costs such as plane tickets, car rentals, hotels, and food on top of the cost just to attend the camp.
- Make copies of the film and store the originals in a safe place.
- Upload the film online via YouTube or some other media outlet to gain attention. It only takes one person to be interested for a door to open.
Every day that you are not in the gym working on your game, someone else is and they’re getting better. Basketball is a competitive game and landing a job puts you against your competitors. Do you think Lebron James doesn’t work on his game even though he is the best player in the world? He knows in order to keep his spot at the top of the mountain he has to continually work.
“The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill”
Show how good you are
- Basketball players, coaches, and managers know where the best games are taking place.
- Show up to competitive open gyms, attend a camp, compete against the best players available to you.
- While at these events, ask players what they’re doing, who they’re talking to, and if they’d be willing to share any contacts. In return, you’d be expected to do the same.
- Do not come off as arrogant or stand offish. Simply smile and introduce yourself. State your purpose and who knows maybe a friendship will bud, but remember that you are there with the purpose of playing basketball overseas.
Agents have connections.
- You pay an agent for their connections. It’s your job to prove that you are good enough to play and have the drive to succeed.
- Certain teams and organizations will trust an agent’s word on whether a player is good or not. So either find an agent that already has that connection or is just as hungry as you are in succeeding.
- Agents put your name out there and can help you find the right camps to be attending.
- http://www.eurobasket.com/Agents.asp is a good site for locating an agent to play basketball overseas.
- Look for a FIBA certified agent.
Pretty much every major country has some form of a basketball league. Most often times you’d be playing against teams within the same country. Such as if you play in Spain, you’re going to play against other Spanish teams. However, the elite teams or players go on to play against teams all throughout other elite teams and players in Europe.
A lot of players have recently found success in China as well. Think that China has roughly 1.4 billion people. That’s a fantastic amount of people to help you build your brand.
Where we are getting is if you want to play basketball overseas, there are plenty of opportunities for you to do so. It’s just a matter of how much effort you are willing to put in.
How to play basketball overseas?
Bust your ass on and off of the court; it’s that simple.