Recently, I had conversations with two players aspiring to play overseas, and each made a common mistake that many players make. Here’s what I learned from those discussions and the advice I had for them and you.

The Agent Dilemma

During a conversation about agents, one player mentioned, “I have an agent, but I also work with others depending on who gets me the job.” This approach is problematic for several reasons:

Lack of Commitment: While it’s technically allowed to work with multiple agents, it’s not always a wise strategy. All agents involved should be aware of each other’s roles and agree to collaborate. However, consider human nature: if an agent knows you’re also working with others, their motivation to work hard for you diminishes. Why should they put in maximum effort if another agent might ultimately place you? This can result in none of the agents working diligently on your behalf, reducing your chances of securing a job.

      Agent Prioritization: Trust me on this one, if an agent is willing to share you with others, it might indicate that they don’t see you as a high-priority client. Agents invest their time and resources in players they believe will yield significant returns. If you had the potential to earn a million dollars a year, no agent would want to share you. Ask yourself why an agent would help you but not sign you exclusively. It likely means you’re not high on their list of priorities or they don’t think you’re worth the extra effort. This lack of commitment can hurt your chances of landing a job unless something serendipitously falls into the agent’s lap.

      Focusing on Stats

      The second discussion was with a young college player coming off a strong freshman season. He asked, “What should I aim to average in points per game for the next seasons?” This question reflects a common misconception among young players.

      Rather than fixating on specific stats, I advised him to focus on becoming the best version of himself, both mentally and physically.

      Here’s why:

      Holistic Development: Rounding out your game during your college years is crucial. It’s not just about scoring points but also about improving your overall skills, basketball IQ, and physical conditioning. You also need to be mentally ready for the challenge of playing overseas.

      Unpredictable Factors: I’ve seen players who averaged 24 points per game not get a single contract offer, while bench players averaging 5 points per game successfully made it overseas. There’s no magic number. Stats can make a good first impression, but many factors influence whether you secure a contract, including intangibles and luck.

      Fierce Competition: The competition for overseas basketball jobs is incredibly fierce. No one is guaranteed a job, regardless of their stat line or how many seasons they have played. Even vets are not immune to not getting an offer. Coaches and scouts look for well-rounded players who can contribute in various ways, not just score points.

      I’ve discussed these topics before and will continue to do so because they are crucial for anyone looking to play basketball overseas. If someone you know needs this information, please share it. Understanding the nuances of working with agents and focusing on overall development rather than just stats can significantly improve your chances of achieving your dream of playing overseas basketball. I am here if anyone needs more advice or tips.

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