There are a lot of benefits to playing basketball abroad. Your squad is considered the NBA club for that city, and you are paid well to do what you love for a living. Fans frequently approach you for photos and signatures while you’re out and about performing everyday activities like dining or shopping since you’re quite identifiable and conspicuous. You have the opportunity to see places that many people only dream about seeing in their lifetimes. Your wage is tax-free, the team pays for your lodging, your round-trip airline ticket to the nation and back to your home at the conclusion of the season, and you get to meet people from all over the world, learn about their cultures, and form lifetime connections.
There are more benefits to becoming a professional basketball player abroad than just these few! These are ten things that basketball players should know before traveling abroad to play professionally.
1. Success and Failure
As an import player, you will always be expected to win games when playing abroad. There are moments when it seems like your performance during games determines whether your team wins or loses. You’ll receive a pat on the back if you prevail. The players, supporters, and coaches will seek an explanation from you when you lose. It is expected of you to play at a high level consistently whether you are winning or losing. Give the city credit for your contributions to the team’s victories if they are coming from your side. Engage with your fans, teammates, and coaches while being modest. They are the ones that will assist in making you feel appreciated and at home while you are there. Refrain from publicly expressing contempt, criticizing teammates, or displaying indications of irritation if your team is losing. This will just exacerbate the situation.
2. Transitional Phase
The gameplay of the game will change from your usual experience depending on the nation you arrive in. You might need some time to become used to your teammates’ playing style, the game’s regulations, speed, and officiating. You might need some time to settle in with your new teammates. Never display signs of dissatisfaction to your teammates, coaches, or supporters. Always be upbeat, professional, and give it your all. Keep in mind that since you are the import, it will be crucial that you arrive ready to go and/or willing to adapt and fit into their system.
3. Leisure Time
In other cases, the municipality where you play basketball may not consider it to be the most significant event. Two to four days a week of two-hour practices may be planned, with one game on the weekends. This might feel like an eternity to a lot of players! In particular, for those who enjoy playing a lot. Sadly, there are a number of nations who only play once a week—or maybe twice, depending on chance. It’s amazing to win, but if/when you lose, it might seem like a lengthy wait until the next game since, aside from practice and games, you have a lot of free time to mentally go over every crucial moment from your previous game.
If you’re lucky, your coach will be a good fit for your playing style and skill level. If not, you can be assigned to a coach who does not share your perception of your talent level. Once more, always have a cheerful attitude, act professionally, and give your work your all.
Interesting people make good teammates. You’ll be competing against fresh players who have different play styles and mindsets. Some people might not speak English as their first language, thus they could be unable to converse with you in that language. On the court, this is an intriguing challenge, but it’s typically manageable and playable.
There will be foods that you love that are unavailable in your preferred nation. It’s possible that comfort foods like pizza, nachos, and your favorite drink won’t be accessible or won’t taste the same in your city as they do in the USA. Remain calm! You’ll get used to it since there will be many of options for new foods that you may try and grow to enjoy.
7. Sweet Home, Sweet Home
During your time with the squad, lodging will be provided by the club team. Depending on your contract, you could just stay there for a year or two, so it might not be the location of your choice. Make sure you enjoy it before committing. If you don’t feel at ease in your surroundings, the season will go by quickly. WIFI, central air and heating, washers and dryers, and comfy beds—especially for those who are 6’6″ or taller—are amenities. All of these are essential.
8. The family
You’ll be making a lot of calls home, so choose an excellent phone plan. If not, make sure your location has WiFi at the very least so you can email and talk to family. Skype and Face Timing are excellent choices. It’s going to be a while, so while you’re playing abroad, you should keep in contact and update your support network.
Schedule breaks occur during most seasons, particularly during the holidays. If at all feasible, try to work out a deal for tickets home for Christmas. Something to ponder.
10. College and NBA Football
You are no longer in America. In the world, the NBA and college are not “everywhere.” While there can be teases on TV, your location might not get double headers on Sunday. It will be helpful to subscribe to Netflix or any other live video/movie app.