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Behind the backboard: the truth about life overseas
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The Road to the Final Four - Apr 29, 2016


POSTED BY:
EUROBASKET CENTER
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Combines, Coaches, Careers...Oh My!

After my senior year of college basketball was finished, my coach called me into his office to talk about an opportunity to go to an invitation-only combine that was the same weekend as the Final Four. I had expressed to him my interest in playing basketball at the professional level since I was a freshman, but being the naive senior I was and not very knowledgeable about the best route to playing overseas, I decided not to go. My idea of the camp was that it was mainly for people who wanted to play in the WNBA and therefore if you were pursuing professional basketball overseas it wouldn't be as beneficial. What I didn't realize was that the more people see you and evaluate your game, the better off you will be. The truth is, multiple agents, GM's, and coaches are present at these events.

Two years later, I have the same opportunity to go to this Final Four combine put on by ProHoops in Indianapolis this weekend and I am definitely not missing it this time around.

Do Basketball Combines Help Take My Career to the Next Level?

I wish there was a simple answer to this question. However, it goes both ways. Some camps are really good and others can be a scam. Many of these types of events promise overseas exposure in front of the 'right' people. But after spending a significant amount of money on registration fees, flights, and hotels, you show up to the camp and there are only a few in the stands watching you compete. I think it's safe to say that your money was not well spent. In this case, the combine did not help your career.

On the other hand, there are combines, like ProHoops, that have a significantly higher chance of getting your name on the map and finding an agent. While I haven't attended one before, I have had many friends who have participated and have had positive feedback from the event.

So honestly, combines can and can't help in taking you to the next level.

How Do I Decide Which Basketball Combine to Go To?

RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! The best answer I can give you is to do your research. Of course there are some events that have a better reputation than others such as the ones associated with the Final Four, Eurobasket, and the WNBA. However, it is still important to do your research and figure out which is the best event for you. Your situation will be different than someone else's (financials, location, etc.).

Questions you should consider when researching basketball combines:

-Where is the event located?
-Who hosts the event?
-What countries/coaches/general managers/agencies have been to this event?
-What athletes have attended this event?
-Did they receive jobs as a result?
-Are there any testimonials of people who have participated?
-Has my college coach heard of this event?
-Does my college coach recommend this event?
-Am I prepared for this opportunity?

Last but Not Least, Make the Most of This Opportunity

Of course there are going to be nerves and anxiety at events such as these. Having WNBA coaches and agents sit in the stands evaluating your game is nerve-wracking. Shoot, I would be lying if I didn't say that I was nervous about this weekend. What I CAN say is that you will never get this moment back. You don't want to go home after the event (having spent all that time and money) wishing that you had just relaxed and played your game. At the end of the day, it's a game you've been playing for years. So with that being said, when you decide on an event and commit to going, capitalize on every opportunity you have while you are on the court. As cheesy as it sounds, the scouts aren't looking for you to be somebody you're not. Play your game and play with confidence. When it's all said and done, you will be pleased with the results.

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