“An Overseas Basketball Team Made An Offer — Do I Pay For My Flight?”

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An overseas basketball club was interested in the player, and the offer was as follows:

$1,500 a month

Furnished apartment

3 meals a day

Team would pay for his return flight (back to the USA), but player needed to pay for his flight over to Europe

The question: Is this legitimate, or a scam to stay away from?

A player came to me with this specific challenge, and I have seen many others that were similar over the years.


My answer

Is this a tryout or a contract offer?
If contract — they say they’re going to pay for food + apartment + pay you, then they should be paying for your flight. [This only makes sense. Why pay for all this other stuff but not pay for my flight?]
If tryout, this is normal practice, as they won’t invest until they have evaluated your play. [This is where a player would have to decide whether or not to bet on himself.]
I suggest that if you do take the offer and pay your own way, you reach or gather info of other teams/agents in that country just in case this falls through. Then you can maximize the fact that you’re already in Europe if you find yourself without a team. [Not every tryout works out, but you’re still in Europe — see what else you can make happen while there.]
If this is a contract offer — make them pay for that flight. You shouldn’t be paying for anything. And if they’re paying return flight, get *that* ticket before you pay for yours. Get them to make a financial commitment.
If it’s a tryout offer, they’re not gonna pay for anything until they decide to keep you.

This should be helpful for you players who have been dealing with the possibility of going to tryouts for teams, or flying over and trying to make something happen while you’re there with no guarantees.

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