If you are seeking an agent to help get you a job playing professional basketball, understand this: An agent is only as good as you are. Meaning, no matter how great of a salesperson your agent is, if your game video shows an inadequate player, there isn’t much your agent can do with it to get you signed. An even if he does pull off a magic trick and gets a weak player signed, you can’t hide behind your agent on the practice/game court. The team will see what you are or are not, and that will be that.
What Agents Do For Your Playing Prospects
As far as overseas ball goes, agents = connections. An agent knows people whom you don’t know, and can have relationships with clubs where a particular club will trust that agent’s word on players (whom the agent represents) to sign next.
This helps both sides: the team saves time searching databases of literally thousands of players who want to play pro ball, and the agent gets his clients signed and paid (and the agent gets paid — by the team, NEVER by you). Of course, it’s important that the agent be good to his word, meaning that the players he sends to a team better be good players. If an agent sends a weak player or two to a team the agent has built a relationship with, that team may decide to “turn off the faucet,” so to speak, with said agent and take their talent search elsewhere.
So an agent is incentivized to have a stable of good players to send around the world. Meaning, when an agent turns you down or ignores your request for representation, that’s their way of telling you they don’t feel they can a) market you properly and/or b) get you singed and/or c) keep their good name by sending you to a team they have a relationship with. Some agents may say that they have too many clients at the time to take on more, which may be true. But if LeBron James walks into their office with the same offer, he’s leaving with a new agent. Take that for what it’s worth.
As far as exposure goes, agents can get you into camps or combines where you can be seen by overseas decision makers, sometimes covering entry and travel fees on your behalf (which the agent expects to make back by you getting signed to a contract in the future — nobody does something for nothing). An agent could also get you included in invite-only workouts or tryouts that you wouldn’t be able to talk your way into alone.
Many agents I’ve dealt with work on non-exclusive agreements — which means that they represent you on a case-by-case (or contract-by-contract) basis, and if they get you a contract, they get paid (by the club) for bringing you to the club and they’ll take the credit for getting you signed (usually in the form of posting you/your good news on their website, Facebook page etc. as credibility for their company — sometimes they take credit even if they didn’t get you the deal!
But no real harm in this; it just puts your name out there in more places (which can’t be bad). But, if during the course of waiting on a contract, Agent B or some other opportunity arises for you, you are 100% free to take advantage of that other situation with no legal recourse by your non-exclusive agent. This works for both sides: the non-exclusive agent doesn’t feel the weight of you waiting and depending fully on them, and you are free to pursue deals on your own or with any other non-exclusive agents out there.
Most agents will be clear about this situation up front: “We will work on getting you a job, but you’re free to look on your own too. If you do take a contract elsewhere or with another agent, just tell us, so we aren’t promoting you for jobs you are not even available to take.”
Some agents/agencies, however, will want players signed to them exclusively. In my experience, this happens with higher-level players (read: you came from a bigger college) or players who have proven themselves very well in a particular job/country, so the agent pretty much knows he can get you another contract, thus he wants full rights to you. This works great for the agent for obvious reasons, and also for the player, who can relax knowing that his agent is doing all the marketing and sales work for his next contract; all the player has to do is be in the gym practicing, in game shape, and be ready to go when the call comes. The best-paid players I’ve known have all been in exclusive agreements with their agents. Exclusive agreement = a signed, binding contract between you and an agent.
So what if you have no agent, what can you do? You can reach out to agents. Eurobasket is a good resource for agencies (there’s an Agents page with links/info to a bunch of agencies). You can also do simple Google searches for agents in your area (maybe you can meet someone face-to-face or have them see you play if you have no stats/video).
What do you say to them when you do reach out? Sell yourself! Why should that agent give a damn about you, what with the hundred other emails/calls he’s getting from random hungry players? This is your job to do — figure out what makes you worth the time and express that. Always remember: talk is cheap. Saying you’re hungry and telling some person who has never heard of you how good of a shooter you are and what your vertical is means less than nothing. Offer to send a video over and/or some stats from your last playing situation (better yet, include it in your initial contacting of them). Don’t have any video or playing situations? Get off the internet and go get some. If you are not good at this sales thing, work on it and learn: Sales skills will help you in all areas of life, well after basketball (whenever that is).
Questions that have come up:
- FIBA certification, to me, shows that the agent has made some investment into his work since (s)he filed paperwork and went through this process. Presumably, FIBA certified agents have more connections and access that those who are not. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that this agent is “better” than one who is not certified. I would cast my net as wide as possible, regardless of who the agent is and what paperwork he has. The overall outcome has nothing to do with who the agent is, it’s about you getting a job. So if a non-FIBA-certified agent agent offers you a playing opportunity, would you take it? Of course!
- *** You do not pay your agent, up front nor after the fact, when you play overseas. I cover that in more detail here. ***
- Traits of good agents: They get you playing opportunities (though it’s really your job, not theirs).
- Traits of bad agents: They don’t get you playing opportunities (though it’s really your job, not theirs).
- DISCLAIMER to #s 3 & 4: I already stated here that it’s not really the agent’s job to get you a job — if you can’t play, no agent can fix this. No film, no resume, no game = your problems to fix. Not an agent’s.
Your other option, sans agent, is to market yourself directly to teams (again, Eurobasket). This is how I built 90% of my playing career, though times have changed from when I graduated college in 2004. How so? There are many more players out there (there were plenty of players then, too, but we seemed more spread out since the internet was not so big — I sent a VHS tape to my first agent, for example), many more exposure camps (there were only about 5-10 total, all summer, back then — now there are 100), everyone is online sending emails and YouTube links, so there’s generally more “noise” for agents to cut through.
Bottom line is, you’re looking to play professional sports, which means you are claiming yourself to be an adult. I did not write this as a color-by-numbers guaranteed way for you to get on (and I am not an agent myself, nor do I have a pipeline to any for you). You’re a man/woman: Be one and take responsibility. Be creative and do what you have to do, so later on you can do what you wanna do.
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- You Want A Career In Pro Basketball/ Overseas? Read This | FAQ
- FREE Book: The Overseas Basketball Blueprint
- 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?
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- 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
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- 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
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- Videos On Overseas Basketball
- Full Athletes Resources Page (100+ Articles)
Iam a Very tall 18 year old Zambian Boy really looking forward to be a pro basketball player…I hope tgis messgae reaches out❤
My name is Jerrene Richardson and I am currently a junior in college at Bellevue University. I’ve been playing basketball since about the 4th grade all the way up till now. I have always wanted to continue my basketball career and play overseas after I get my degree. I don’t really know where to start and I need help. I’m 21 years of age, the position I play is PG (point guard), I am 5’8 and weigh about 135lbs.
Please if u have any good feedback or ways to help me I would be very grateful for a opportunity of a lifetime and reach my dreams.
If you’re serious go to http://BallOverseas.com
I’m 21 and am looking for and agent I have only played for my jr high a some community teams when younger is there any light at the end of the tunnel for me not sure how to proceed
Read the articles and get The Overseas Basketball Blueprint free: WorkOnMyGame.com/OverseasFree
Hi mr. Dre
I have a brother about 16years
And he only want to have an agent
And work with him till he goes to pro
So I wanna know is that possible for him to have an agent
And he’s not in school either
He want to write his GED exams to get to the college thats all
So I really wanna know is it really possible for him
Tell your brother to get his GED and go to college — unless your brother is LeBron James, he’s not pro basketball material. Maybe he will be 6 years from now (2 in HS and 4 in college). Overseas basketball is not a pickup game or summer rec league, and he cannot play college ball if he has dealings with agents. No agent will represent him, as he’s worth $0 in the pro bball market. Tell your brother to wake up.
Hello Mr. Baldwin, my name is Nathan and I’m looking for a shot, I have some semi-pro experience and am looking to go overseas. I’m ready I just need an agent can you email me @ [email protected]
Read this article and help yourself. Good luck
Hello i just stumbled upon this article when reading about playing basketball overseas and i seem to be in a struggle as i live in Scotland and haven’t got any VHS tapes of me playing and only had school team basketball experience is this and issue and if so how could i still make it pro overseas
You need to answer those questions if you’re serious about it. Think.
i’m serious about playing basketball overseas but i’m asking you if i don’t have VHS tapes of me playing in school basketball games can i make it overseas
Well, think about it. If a team has never seen you play, why would they sign you to a contract? Would you agree to marry a girl that you’ve never seen before?
could i submit VHS tapes of me playing in pick up games in a gym and does Scotland have an effect on me wanting to find teams overseas
The Overseas Basketball Blueprint: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/OverseasFree
Good afternoon just promoting my son alvin Isaiah west that’s currently playing D2 at Wilmington university on. A basketball scholarship he just text me about he wants to play professional basketball overseas first than tryout for a nba combine I just want to keep his dream alive
This isn’t the place for promotion. If your son wants to play pro ball,
1) He needs to take ownership of the process, not his father. The pros are for adults, not kids. Adults take ownership of their business.
2) He needs to finish school (if he hasn’t already — 4 years) and develop his skills to be pro-ready.
3) This website has plenty info for what your son needs to do to help himself. Send him here and let him learn and then act on his own volition.
Thank you for taking you time to help others. I recently just graduated college, and pursuing a career overseas is something I really look forward to. I recently just had the great opportunity to participate in the Euroleague combine camp for overseas women’s basketball a few weekends ago. From my understanding, rookie contracts typically get signed between June 15 and August 15. Is there anything in the meantime I should be doing to increase my chances of playing overseas? Any agent seeking?
I appreciate your time, thanks again
You went to a camp, so all that’s left to do is hope for the best. Good luck!
Hey I graduated last year out of high school and I waited a year to to work on my game so I sat out a year and I think college not for me how do I get a chance to play overseas and find a agent I am a d2 level basketball player and I’m 18 years old
Go to college for four years and get better. Like you said, you’re a D2 level player — so go play there.
Hey Dre, I have brief overseas experience in showcases and combines. I have plenty of film including highlights and full game footage. What do you recommend for me to find an agent? Thank you
Read the article. Good luck.
My son is playing basketball for college. But he is going to be in his senior year.
He asked me as his dad when I finish college how am I going to play for big leagues.
He needs to take ownership of finding those answers. That’s why kids go to college.
How do I get to play overseas
Read and help yourself.
i have some questions about trying to find an good agent.
Read all the articles on my Help page and get the agent video at http://DreAllDay.com/Game
Is it possible to find an agent or even play overseas for a player that has only played 1.5 season of ball and decided to finish playing football his last collegiate years and don’t have much basketball film?
I wouldn’t know since I’m not that person. But that person can find out by taking some action, using the guides I have provided.
Hey dre I’m 17 in my senior year of high school and procrastinated alot with playing ball but am willing to put in the work now. Do you think its too late to play DIV 2. or even 1 ball if i put in the work?
That’s a question you have to answer for yourself! What I think has no bearing on what you do.
Hey I have a questions i did not go collage would I still be able to play ball over seas iam 26
I’ve covered that in a post on this page: DreAllDay.com/Help
I wanna hoop im 28 still got game how I go about getting shot at it
Dre i would really like to play in the NBA I’m still 15yrs working on my ball game everyday but I would like to know if I can get an agent at the age of 20 in The UK that can get me opportunities to come and play in the US is this possible
Sure you can.
Can you post an article about timelines. Like when you need your video by, when is it you should have an agent by, when are you late in the game, stuff like that?
No, because there is no timeline and there are no “shoulds”. For instance, if I said “you should have an agent after 6 months” and you don’t have one, would you then quit? Of course not. You chart your own course in this business, it’s not like school or a traditional job where you follow a set process.
I wanted to play oversea basketball but I don’t have the access because I stay in Africa,ghana pls can u help me um a boy of 17years old with 6.4feet tall it have been my dream since I was 7years old, help me please my senior high school did not help me at all I need ur help to play oversea
You need to help yourself. At age 17, you need college — get your academic paperwork together and get enrolled in an American university where you can play. Doing this is your job. You have internet access, and you want to play, so get it done.
This is straight forward and real thanks for being so open with your knowledge!!
how does a 25year old woman able to try out and make it into being a pro and play in the wnba.
Read all of my Guides & Tips page here on this site, and get on my email list – just sent out a job offer in Australia yesterday.
Wonderful! I feel like an expert after all this information. I am doing research for my boyfriend who was recently released from prison. He’s 6’11 with many tattoos, 3 on his face, and a drug charge. Do you see this being a problem for him in regards to being selected at a camp or by an agent?
Great to hear Heather! Well whether it will be or not, he still is who he is and his history will always be – you can’t change any of that, so go for it and see what happens!
I need help. I wanna play over seas an go too the girls W.N.B.A
Help with what?
Hi Dre, first of all lemme say Im impressed by your blog and the clearness of your speach. It sounds full of wisdom and confidence… so thanks and congrats.
I believe basketball in Balkan was a great experience as much this area is known for talents and bball teaching.
When you say, you were selling yourself on Eurobasket, can you be more specific about it? Did you register and pay to access this “job market”? Is it relevant?
Hi Bob and thank you! Glad you’ve enjoyed the content here. As for this post — everything I did was relevant, that’s why I’m sharing it.
I talk more about your Qs and everything else overseas Bball related in my course found at DreAllDay.com/OBB.
Is it too late at age 26 to start overseas basketball?
You tell me.
I really wanna play overseas I been practicing on my game going to the gym everyday day working on my shot, handles, and etc. Since now I’m out if high school what should I do????
You should take this course and start your career: http://www.DreAllDay.com/OBB
My name is Julien Johnson, I live in Tampa FL, 24 years old and I’m looking to find a camp, have you done any in the Tampa area that were good?
I have a page on this site detailing the camps I’ve been to.
Hi my name is Chris Rodriguez I’m 6’2 I play basketball in Arizona I’m barely getting out of high school I average 25+ points a game and I ranked number 4 in Arizona I would like to expand my career by playing overseas
That’s great. Read this website as all the information is here.
I have a young man that I have been coaching basketball since the 10 th grade. He’s played college & semi pro basketball, and wants to continue playing I have film of him. He plays the 1 & 2 spot.
I’m not an agent. See http://www.DreAllDay.com/Blueprint
What advice would you have to someone who wants to pursue a career in being an agent/manager?
Talk to someone who is one and find out what that person did. If you don’t know someone, read a book/blog or listen to a podcast. All that info is free and available.
Wats up dre , I’m 6’2 played basketball sense age 6, I’m 19 now I work on my game every day (non stop) I’m getting better in better, I played high school ball till I dropout my sophomore year but no games was recorded in scouts wouldn’t dare to come to my school. But that didn’t stop me I played on against ppl my age or older than me, college athlete’s from the area in etc. I have ton’s of video, but it’s not from being on a college team. but I study film, plays, the whole 9yards in I No I can play on a professional team perhaps overseas. I’m just a little worry that if I ship video out to agents that they might say well you never played on a team team with coaches in refs in have that experience in turn me down to be my agent. But I did go back in get my g.e.d. so I can tryout for a college team if all else fails. But is there any tips or anything you can give? Thanks.
If the agents turn you down you’ll still be in the same position you’re in now, so do it anyway. I’ve written a book on starting your overseas career here: https://www.dreallday.com/blueprint
I need help I want to play ball overseas