Short Answer: Yes. I’ve done it.
Practical/Reasonable Answer: Probably not. But if you think being practical or reasonable (or thinking in this way) is going to get you from a Division III college campus gym to a professional basketball contract, you are on the wrong website.
If you didn’t know, I played at a NCAA Division 3 (also referred to as D3 or DIII or NCAA3) college. D3 schools do not offer athletic scholarships and, as you can probably surmise, are the bottom of the totem pole in terms of talent and exposure and pro players produced. These are realities of D3 sports.
Your personal realities, however, are 100% your decision.
Let’s start from the top.
When I was a junior in high school and had my first tastes of basketball success (sign up for my WOYG Update list below to receive a free copy of my early-basketball story a day later), I decided where my life was going: I was going to play basketball for a living. I had no idea where I was going to college yet or how I’d get on the basketball team at said school (since I was not even on my high school varsity roster s a junior), but the decision had been made. That decision played more of a role in everything that has happened since then, than anything else — my ability to dunk, a jumpshot, any camps I played at, a crossover move.
If you are at a D3 school and want to play ball professionally, there may not be many people who will be able to relate to your ambitions; some may even discourage you (I had no shortage of this). You are entering the professional world, which means you are fully responsible for your actions and fully responsible for the results, and just the same for the lack of either.
Here are some pieces of information that will make things clear for you.
Whether You Can Play At Any Level Is Like Having Sex With A Girl: If You Have To Ask, The Answer Is Probably “No.” Do you believe you? Not many people are going to jump on your bandwagon until you turn the damn key and start driving it.
Players ask me dumb ass question sometimes. Such as, “how good do I have to be to __________ (play some level of basketball)?” Are levels of basketball “goodness” definable by words? Not in my estimation, no. What do you expect me to tell you? You need to be 85% of Lebron-Level? Just slightly worse than Jeremy Lin?
At this point in my life/career, the question concerning any player is simple.
Can you play?
I don’t care about you assessment of your skills, your physical measurements, or your stats. It’s a yes or no question. Nothing to add. No qualifications. Yes or No. This is something you need to answer for yourself, not to me.
Many NCAA D3 Players Have No Ideas Or Aspirations Of Playing Basketball Beyond College. That Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be One Of Them. I know this first hand. Many of my college teammates looked at D1 players as some sort of demigods whom they could not see or touch, only talk about. Many of my teammates saw themselves as basketball minions who just wanted to play their years at our D3 school then put the basketball down forever, completely satisfied with a career that ended in obscurity at a school that garnered no recognition nor respect.
Just that very thought made me sick.
Most people are reasonable. They stay in their place, don’t overstep imaginary boundaries, are happy with whatever they receive, and want everyone around them to behave the same way. And since this is their reality, they have no choice but to advise you to have the same reality — they don’t know any other way of thinking. It is very important that you understand this. Re-read the previous two sentences again if you need to. Hell, copy+paste them to some location where you’ll see them daily if you need to.
You have to make the decision on what you are going to be about, what you are going to do. Coming from an environment where you may be the only one thinking how you are thinking, your resolve must be twice as strong.
People Who Don’t Know You And Have Never Seen You Play Will Judge Your By Your Resume. Your Only Goal Needs To Be To Have Them See You On The Court. Then Things Can Change. At the end of my junior year of college I was soon to be home in Philadelphia and I remembered what my since-fired sophomore year coach had told me: If you haven’t gotten destroyed on the court (or crossed over badly or dunked on), that’s because you ain’t playing against anyone who can play. With that in mind, I made a call to the organizer of the Del-Val Pro-Am held at Drexel University in Philly. He asked the usual questions — are you in/from the area, where do you play, etc. I told him the D3 school I was at and he was instantly not-so-interested in me. He told me I could come down to Drexel when the games started and he would see what he could do (which did not sound like much).
Long story short, my car was out of commission by the time I got home for the summer so I missed out, but the point of all this is simple:
As soon as you leave that D3 campus where you’re The (Wo)Man because you’re one of only 12 on campus with a basketball team uniform, you go back to being Nobody. You have to prove yourself all over again, and your resume of being a D3 player won’t do much for you. Your goal at this point is to get yourself on the court, where everything is equal, and you can make your point that way. Once you step on a court, there are no stats or trophies or pedigrees or any of that other shit. It’s just a court, the ball and the players. On the court, you are the player your performance says you are. This is why players attend exposure camps: to show that they can play on a level which their previous experience and results does not say they can.
So in conclusion, D3 player: Yes, you can play professional/overseas basketball coming from where you’re coming from. Let this post be the last time you have to look outside of yourself for the answer to that question.
Ready to Sign Your First Playing Contract? Get my FREE book, The Overseas Basketball Blueprint Here
- You Want A Career In Pro Basketball/ Overseas? Read This | FAQ
- How Does Overseas Basketball Work? A Detailed Guide
- How To Find An Agent For Playing Overseas Basketball
- I Want To Play Overseas / In The NCAA… But I Don’t Know Where to Begin! Help!!
- How Good Do You Have To Be To Play Overseas/Professionally?
- Can You Go Pro/Overseas Coming from a NCAA D3 School?
- How I Got My First Overseas Basketball Contract
- Choosing The Right Pro Exposure Camp or Combine | Follow-Up Post: What I Know About Pro Camps
- Professional Basketball Camp Reviews (Of Camps I’ve Been To)
- Overseas Basketball And Money: What You Should Know
- Advice and What to Expect at Your First Camp
- Working a 9-5 While Preparing to Play Pro/Overseas
- Do Not Give Money To Scam Artist John Jordan to Play Overseas. Ever.
- Videos On Overseas Basketball
- Full Athletes Resources Page (100+ Articles)