· The stakes are high before anyone from high school can get an acceptance from any college that offers athletic scholarships. The road to that much-sought-after scholarship is definitely spiky. The basketball game, alone, requires physical stamina and mental endurance. When these are established, there are more to conquer such as the college application, finalizing your portfolio (resume with completed works attached), and knowing which college coach to approach and to sell your skills.
· Once you have landed a scholarship and you start to fulfill your childhood dream, then you might begin to feel that school basketball is no longer sufficient to satiate your aching for the professional basketball league. If you have decided to go pro and believe that you can, then read these time-tested guidelines that will surely make you the next ‘talk of the town’:
1. Be committed. Once you feel that you have the talent to become a professional basketball player, then commit yourself. Don’t chicken out at the slightest sign of obstacles (because there will be many).
2. It is imperative for you to be on top of your game at all times. Make the impression that you are a go-getter and that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Prepare yourself physically. In terms of endurance, if you are able to run a mile, then do two. Double your efforts and the results will be doubled as well.
3. Impress your coach. He will be able to back you up on any applications that you make. When he is assured that he has a key player on his team, he might be able to make recommendations. If not, at least the word will get around that a certain player performs each game like it is the last game of his life.
4. Professional basketball is a form of employment and, thus, a career. If you have submitted your best resumes for the college athletic scholarship, then it’s a must to submit something more than your best. Highlight the skills that make you an asset to the professional team (examples are your statistics, newspaper articles that were written about you or your team, proof of game programs, etc.). Express your desire to enter the professional league by adding a cover letter. Make sure that the complete application papers are forwarded ahead of schedule.
5. Since professional basketball doesn’t require licensing, time and again, the importance of getting good grades is reiterated. Most professional leagues require their players to have graduated from college or be nearing graduation. Graduating students should graduate within the prescribed calendar year. If not, some leagues are able to take in high school graduates. To add to that, they not only require mere graduates but graduates who made good grades.
6. Develop a professional attitude. Learn punctuality and self-discipline in all matters. Also, know how to bridle your anger. The slightest provocation could send you home and deprive you of the chance to earn $25,000-$20 million every year. Be sure that you are emotionally mature enough to take the rigors of the job.
7. Apply as early as when you are 20 years of age. In NBA, for instance, they will require you to have graduated from high school at least two years prior to the recruitment process.
8. Prepare to be homesick. Most professional basketball players have to travel (very far away) from their home so psyche yourself to be tough in all circumstances. Success will only come to those who are willing to sacrifice something in return.
9. Get yourself an agent that will serve as your counselor. These agents will further your basketball career by helping you connect to the right people in the industry. If you are one of those players who gets called from agents without even asking for one, then you are mightily blessed.
10. When you are retired, what will you do? You have to have a buffer career for your retirement years. If you can, establish a business and a sizeable savings. Know that there is life beyond the basketball court and that you will inevitably live that.