Contributing Article by Eric Pangburn
The only person that will find to work the hardest for you..is YOURSELF!
This was taught to me early in my pursuit of obtaining my goal and dream of playing professional basketball overseas. Many of you out there want to make it to the next level playing basketball and if ask by any average person it would be the ideal dream job. The idea of playing basketball 2 or 3 hours a day and getting paid for it is probably the most unimaginable way to spend time and make money. When I still tell people that’s what I do for living they first think wow and second they say, “man that would be nice to have that kind of job”.
Enough talking about the job. I want to talk about obtaining a basketball profession and my journey to where I am now. I don’t want appear like I am special, I just want to share my thoughts and my experiences. I want to try to help others that want to make it over seas to play basketball. There is no real solution or how to manual to make it over seas to play basketball. But I will share a little of what I know and have went through.
First, I started the avenue of talking to every agent that I hear or read about. I was told early well it’s sort of simple to play basketball if your good enough, all you need to do is get a agent and they do all the work. As I am sure many of you have been told that as well.
“Oh just get an agent.”
My first warning to you is that there are some really good agents out there that work really hard for there clients, but just like anything else it’s a business. Playing basketball overseas is not just you playing over seas or just basketball as you see it in college or high school. It’s a BUSINESS! The sooner you fully understand that you better off you will be trust me.
My experience with agents
First, how do agents receive and earn money? They receive money by two ways, either from you paying them up front fee, which I would advise to never do in any case. Secondly, they should be and they do get paid directly from the team which is usually 10% of what you make monthly. So if your making $2000 a month he is making $200 a month. Which leads me to my next point for any agent to be success and to earn good money is to have a lot of players. So if he is getting many $200 paid checks a month, it can add up fast. But, remember the fact he has a lot of clients!!
If you have a big name and went to Big time Division School I would say a Basketball Agent is a way to go. But, even then I have known guys that have gone to Division I schools that have and are still overseas playing to this day with out an AGENT. So say there is an agent that want an upfront fee of say $150 before you even give him a tape or anything. However, what I have experienced is you can do pretty much the same thing that agent does that you pay $150, and it would or could even cost you less then that to do what he does.
The point of an agent is first the medium between you and the team. But let’s remember it’s a business. If I am a business man that has a product that I fully believe in then why would I want to take it to a guy that could then return sell the same product when I could go directly and sell that same product knowing that the job will be done and done right. And that’s what I have experienced. I experience of all these agents telling me this and that, but when it came down to getting me a job I had none.
Which this draws us back to my title the only person you will find to work the hardest for you is YOURSELF!! This is a true statement and if you really want to make it over seas bad enough to play basketball you can find a job out there. You have to sell yourself directly to teams. Use all and whatever means y
ou have access to like email, faxes, tapes, and or even going overseas and knocking on peoples doors to get a job. If you want it bad enough you have to go after it just like a rebound. It’s the person that wants it the most!
Below I have my top five points to get you started in the right direction!
1. Read all you can about overseas basketball
2. Get a profile and try to get your name out there
3. Contact the teams directly
4. Be persistent
5. Remember it’s a business
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do you need a passport to play overseas
Yes, you need a passport. If you’re from Europe your chances of getting a team is easier than if you have an USA Passport.