I occasionally post job offerings which are sent to me by trusted sources. Today I posted one which had the salary of $1500. While that particular job is seen as an entry level job for a rookie, some may see the end salary and think it is very low. This is a narrow minded approach. If you look at the big picture, and think about the things you do not have to pay for, you will realize that the contract is worth much more.

One of the significant advantages of playing abroad is the extensive list of perks that come with your contract. These perks often cover various living expenses, allowing you to focus entirely on your performance and growth on the court.

In Chapter 9 of my book, Same Name Different Way: Your Guide to a Successful European Rookie Season, I dive deep into these often-overlooked benefits. Here, I’ll provide an overview of some of the expenses typically covered by your contract, giving you a clearer picture of the financial relief these perks offer. These are low estimates but the actual amounts can vary from team to team and country to country based on the cost of living.

Housing and Utilities

Apartment: $500/month

Electricity: $70/month

Cable/Internet: $50/month

House/Apartment Insurance: $50/month

One of the most substantial benefits is housing. Your team typically provides an apartment, eliminating the need for you to spend $500 a month on rent. Additionally, utilities such as electricity ($70/month) and cable ($50/month) are usually covered. Even your house or apartment insurance ($50/month) is taken care of, ensuring you have a safe and comfortable living environment without the added financial stress.


Car: $200/month

Car Insurance: $100/month

Transportation is another area where you’ll see significant savings. Many contracts include a car for your use, saving you around $200 a month. Car insurance, which can cost about $100 a month, is also typically included. This means you can navigate your new city with ease and without worrying about these expenses.

Health and Wellness

Health Insurance: $200/month

Health insurance is a critical component, especially when you’re far from home. Your contract often includes comprehensive health insurance, valued at approximately $200 a month. This ensures you have access to medical care whenever you need it, without the burden of additional costs.


One Meal per Day: $20/day for 5 days a week

Nutrition is crucial for any athlete, and many low budget teams will provide at least one meal per day, to offset the low salary and keep money in your pocket. Valued at $20 per meal, this perk can save you around $100 a week. Over a 10-month period, this adds up to significant savings and ensures you maintain a balanced diet essential for peak performance.

Travel and Documentation

Roundtrip Flight: $1,000

Visa and Necessary Documents: $500

Teams often cover the cost of your roundtrip flight, which can be around $1,000. Additionally, the expenses for necessary visas and other documents, typically about $500, are usually covered. These costs can add up quickly, but having them included in your contract means you don’t have to worry about these logistical expenses.

Total Savings Breakdown Over a 10-Month Contract

Let’s break down these savings over a typical 10-month contract:

– Apartment: $500 x 10 = $5,000

– Electricity: $70 x 10 = $700

– Cable/Internet: $50 x 10 = $500

– House/Apartment Insurance: $50 x 10 = $500

– Car: $200 x 10 = $2,000

– Car Insurance: $100 x 10 = $1,000

– Health Insurance: $200 x 10 = $2,000

– Meals: $20 x 5 days x 4 weeks x 10 months = $4,000

– Roundtrip Flight: $1,000

– Visa and Documents: $500

Total Savings: $17,200

Bonus Systems

In addition to these covered expenses, most contracts have bonus systems in place, which are usually negotiated by your agent. These bonuses can significantly add to the value of your contract and may include:

– Per Win Bonus: Additional payment for each game won.

– Playoff Bonus: Extra earnings for making it to the playoffs.

– Finals Bonus: Increased compensation for reaching the finals.

– Championship Bonus: A substantial bonus for winning the championship.

These bonuses not only incentivize performance but also provide an opportunity to earn more throughout the season, enhancing your overall financial package.

Personal Expenses

While your contract covers many of your major expenses, you’ll still have some personal expenditures. Most of your expenses while overseas will be your cell phone bill, gas for your car, some food, and hanging out with friends. These costs will vary based on your lifestyle and spending habits, but with the significant savings from covered expenses, you’ll have more flexibility to enjoy your time abroad.

These perks, often included in your overseas basketball contract, significantly reduce your living expenses, allowing you to save and invest more of your earnings. Understanding these benefits can also help you better evaluate contract offers and choose the right fit for your career. For a more detailed guide on navigating your rookie season in Europe, be sure to check out Chapter 9 of my book, Same Name Different Way: Your Guide to a Successful European Rookie Season, available on Amazon.


By recognizing and leveraging these hidden perks, you can make the most of your overseas basketball experience, both on and off the court.

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