As an overseas basketball consultant, amongst other things, my role involves assisting aspiring American players who dream of playing overseas, especially in Europe. However, I have been consistently surprised by the lack of knowledge many players have about European basketball.
I decided to write this blog when a player who would like to play overseas recently asked me, “What is the Euroleague?” I was taken aback by this question, as it highlighted the lack of awareness some players have about the very profession they aspire to join.
One common misconception among aspiring players is the confusion between the Euroleague and national leagues played in different European countries. I frequently encounter questions like, “Which country is the best to start my career in the Euroleague?” It’s crucial to understand that the Euroleague is a pan-European competition, and players need to grasp the distinction between it and national leagues.
Wanting to come to Europe to play basketball without knowing what the Euroleague is, is akin to aspiring to play in America without knowing about the NBA. The Euroleague is the pinnacle of European club basketball, featuring top-tier teams from across the continent. In my opinion, it is the best basketball competition outside of the NBA.
Back when I played, it was difficult to access information that is available to players today. In this information age, there is simply no excuse for not doing basic research on the place you intend to live and work. With a simple click on the computer, aspiring players can access a wealth of information about European basketball leagues, teams, playing styles, and the overall basketball culture.
Gone are the days when Euroleague games were inaccessible to American audiences. Nowadays, Euroleague games are broadcasted on YouTube and even on American channels, providing ample opportunities for players to watch and learn about the European style of play, the level of competition, and the overall basketball atmosphere.
While I am always ready to assist aspiring players in any way I can, it is equally important for players to take the initiative and conduct their own research. I do not expect players to know everything that I know since I have been living, playing and coaching in Europe for the last 28 years. However, understanding the European basketball landscape, is crucial for players to make informed decisions about their careers. I am here to help, but players should also help themselves.