I hate that I am actually having to write this. And I’ll tell you why:
Most of you are not cut out for doing this (basketball) as a profession.
And I’ll tell you why that is, too. Based on the emails and comments and messages I have received over the last 6 years of having this website, the majority of people I hear from want a few things, in no particular order:
- A guaranteed, safe way of continuing their basketball lives
- A step-by-step guide on making it, that is basic color-by-numbers “do this, then this, then that” directions — like using the Maps App on your mobile device
- To believe that, other than what I have already shared, that there just might be some other information on getting there that I’m withholding just for you, and if you email/comment me I’ll reveal the missing secret.
I will say this here, for those of you who don’t read (and that’s a lot of people): This business is for hustlers.
What do I mean when I say this business is for hustlers? What’s a hustler? What does a hustler do?
- A hustler begins — sometimes — knowing nothing about how or when or where or who.They fix things along the way.
- A hustler never stops moving.
- A hustler improvises and does what (s)he needs to do when the situation calls for it.
- A hustler figures out what to do, on their own volition, when there are no instructions to follow.
- A hustler creates something out of nothing.
- A hustler thrives when there are no rules.
Playing pro ball from a small, unknown school? From being in school but not on the team? From no school whatsoever? It’s not about your crossover or the backspin on your jumpshot or what position you prefer playing. When you come from/go to a small school (basically, anything that is not an NCAA D1 or very high D2), hustling creates your career, and anything basketball-related that follows. Physical talent and skill alone won’t suffice.
Your mindset is the key here. A hustling mindset knows that nothing is handed out and you have to make a way. Do you understand what make a way means? It means that no one can tell you exactly what to do or “show (you) the way” — if it were that simple, everyone would be playing, and that person who showed you could write a how-to book and sell it for a nice, easy profit. There are no rules in the business — and even when rules exist, they are obeyed when people feel like obeying them. Your situation is yours only — no one has your exact circumstances and you shouldn’t put anyone else in the position of asking them to decide “what (you) should do”. If you’re looking to play college or pro ball, that means you’re and adult or damn close to it — act like one. Own it.
Basketball careers are not your normal 9-to-5. It is not like school, where everything is laid out ahead of time, everyone has the same goal and benchmarks, and you can always blame the teacher’s lack of helping you when you fail. There is no one to depend on when you fuck up or get fucked up, like being a child living at home with your parents. You can get fucked over by this person or another, and there is no (useful) legal recourse in many cases. Getting one (job, scholarship, roster spot) means nothing as far as the next one is concerned in many cases; you never stop hustling.
So you don’t know where to begin, huh? I can help you with that: Right there. Begin right there, where you are, right now. Do something. Save your money for an exposure camp. Contact a club’s GM or coach (find them!). Send your video to an agent or team. Use your brain and get creative, we’re hustling, remember? Do not insult your own intelligence by saying you “can’t find any information” on your goal. So you wan to play pro sports, one of the hardest jobs to acquire in the world — and you “can’t find” anything? Are you kidding me? I can’t take you seriously. You’re online and you found this website. Which means you know what Google is and what it does. Are you that lazy? Be honest. Yes? Then let me save you some time: Forget basketball. Apply for a job at McDonald’s — it’s easy, safe, and they’ll tell you exactly what to do — how to do the work, what to wear to work, when to eat lunch, and when to go home. It’s predictable and you even get free “food”.
I wrote this post because, no matter how much I have written, I keep getting the same damn messages from players who come to me as if I’m the hoops Wizard of Oz who will answer all their basketball-life’s questions with godly wisdom — I do actually do that, but not the type of wisdom many unsatisfied emailers receive. I tell them the equivalent of what you are reading right now and people get mad at me for telling them to take control of their situations.
Why won’t you help me??!!
I don’t know you or your situation — don’t bother sharing your life’s story in an email. Not because I don’t care, but because I’m not taking the reigns to your life. My goal — when I write these things, when I make those motivational videos — my goal is to influence you into empowering yourself. That’s the endgame. That’s how you make an impact. That’s how you can make a name for yourself, in sports any anything else.
I think I’ve said enough. Waiting for the next email.
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