Like any young basketball fan around the world, Americans dream of NBA, the most prestigious basketball competition. Nowadays, The game is international and the competition is so tough, the basketball players who are not retained by one of the thirty franchises of the NBA at the end of their college experience have no other solution than to leave the United States if they really want to earn enough money to live from playing basketball.
« My entire life growing up I always wanted to play basketball professionally. The day I really knew I wanted to play basketball overseas was my junior year in college. I saw some teammates from my university go play overseas making some good money, so that was the reason I wanted to continue playing overseas to have a better life for my wife and me », exposes Toddrick Gotcher, before explaining how he got his first job in Europe. « I got my first contract by speaking to many agents after my career was done in college. I ended up signing with a good agency and his contacts and some of my connections that I had got me my first professional contract. I was excited about starting my professional career because that is what I dreamed of as a child ».
Regarding Jared Newson, recent retiree of professional basketball after 13 seasons disputed, all started « in 2006, after I graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin. My first experience was in Germany. My agent contacted a team and they accepted. It was an amazing feeling to start to be paid for doing what you love to do. I had no expectations other than try to dominate on the court ».
For his part, Kenny Hayes had to go through the D-League box before starting to really catch the attention of European teams belonging to the best championships overseas: « After college, I played in the D-League for the Maine Red Claws. I still hold the most points in a single game for the red claws with 52 points in a single game. I got call up to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and I was with them for almost a month. My main focus was NBA out of College but when I had a good year in the D-League, overseas teams started to show a lot of interest in me. I played my first two years in Israel ».
The beginning of a career in professional basketball is not easy for everyone, and can even be very complicated. The most difficult thing is to have an opportunity that presents itself. According to the profiles of players, their experiences and statistics in the NCAA, the task will be more or less arduous.
For Dee Bost, who had to make a choice between several tempting proposals he had on the table, it was rather easy to make a decision. « I had other options to play in Europe. Buducnost was eurocup so for my first year out it was huge to play in that type of competition ».
This faculty to obtain contract proposals, regardless of the amount of the proposed salary, is not present for everyone. Reality is far from it.