In my role as a Player Education Specialist, I have had countless conversations with players about agents and their representation. One issue that many players face is finding an agent who has connections in the countries where they would like to play.
During a recent conversation with a client, he mentioned a possible agent who had shown interest in him, but was based in the Middle East region while he had set his sights on playing in Spain. While I had no issues with the agent being from that region, I did ask my client a question that is often overlooked by players: Why would he hire an agent without connections in the countries he wants to play in?
It is important for players to understand that agents with connections in specific regions can often offer greater opportunities for their clients. Agents with established relationships with teams and leagues in a particular region can help players secure contracts more easily and may also have valuable insights into the specific nuances of playing in that region, such as the lifestyle and culture, the standard contract structures, and even the level of competition.
By hiring an agent who has connections in the region where you want to play, you can increase your chances of getting noticed by teams and securing better deals. You can also rely on your agent to provide valuable advice and support throughout your career, even after your playing days are over.
However, some players may be tempted to work with the first agent who shows interest in them, regardless of where that agent is based or what connections they have. This can be a mistake, as it may limit the opportunities available to the player and make it more difficult to achieve their career goals.
When choosing an agent, players should do their due diligence and research potential agents carefully. Look for agents who have experience representing players in the region where you want to play, and ask for references from past clients. It’s also important to have open and honest conversations with potential agents about your goals and expectations, and to make sure that they are aligned with your career aspirations.
While much falls on your agent to find you a job in the country of your preferred destination, you must also listen to your agent when he/she suggests a country that might be better suited for your skill set. Just because you want to play in Spain, doesn’t mean your skill set is a good fit for the Spanish market. And one thing that agents know for sure is, players are the worst evaluators of their own talent. Players need an agent who will tell it to them like it is.
Finding an agent with connections in the countries where you want to play can make a significant difference in your career as a professional basketball player. By doing your research and working with an agent who understands your goals and has the right connections, you can increase your chances of success and achieve your dreams of playing basketball at the highest levels.