I would like to write about something that I have experienced lately while connecting with players about the book. I am very pleased that more and more players are starting to reach out to me about playing overseas. I make sure I answer every question with the truth, and sometimes that means opening eyes and showing that playing overseas is not for everyone. It won’t happen for everyone. What I am seeing is that there is a ton of players that have NO idea what this life is like. They only see dollar signs and that is their primary motivation. Because playing basketball overseas is much more “en vogue” than it was years ago, players are aware that playing overseas is a viable option. Unfortunately, most of these players are woefully misinformed about the process and how difficult it is to even sign a contract. Here is an example of what I mean.
I recently chatted with two younger players that should have still been in college. Before I give any advice or suggestions, I ask questions about their backgrounds and what they are looking to achieve. They both had similar stories and wanted to come to Europe asap to make money and provide for their families. Neither had a recent game film, nor an agent. They both had some kind of reputation where they were respectively from. The problem was that these days, without a recent game film, or an agent, the likelihood of a 19-year-old American player scoring a contract overseas is zero. Even with game film and an agent, it would be difficult. I informed them both that every team over here is in “win now” mode. Either they are competing for a title, or they are trying not to be relegated to a lower league. Why would a European team take a chance on an unproven 19 year old from the USA when they probably have a more talented native young player already on their roster. These teams are not into developing an American. As an American, you have to be a finished product, both physically and mentally. I ended up informing both of them to continue their studies and grow mentally, and physically. They should keep developing their basketball skills. I think both understood what I meant, but after each conversation, I had a bad feeling that I was smashing the dreams of these young guys because I believe NOTHING is impossible if you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it. Never would I want to dash someone’s hopes and dreams…never! I owe it to the person asking for information, however, to be realistic.
I am thankful for the trust that these two young guys put in me to lead them in the right direction and I take that responsibility very seriously. I am convinced more than ever that my book will help players (of both genders). These conversations have also shown me that I should probably change up my marketing and my target audience to include younger players. Hopefully, one of these young players will read my book and be even more prepared for what is to come. That in itself makes me thankful for these two conversations. I look forward to having more of them in the future!
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!