To be a Pro
Be a pro athlete – general information
The season in Europe starts between August and October and ends between April and June.
The team hires you as a pro player. Unlike most local players you will receive a monthly salary and housing, flight tickets and insurance will be paid for. The club may offer you meals and a car. Sometimes you get your own apartment and sometimes you share the apartment with a teammate, this all depends on the clubs’ financial situation. The club hired you to make a difference and to win games. They expect the pro players to be the top statistical leaders at every game. They will expect you to be a leader, and a perfect professional role model - which includes on and off court actions. They expect the pro players to arrive in top physical shape and to stay in top physical shape throughout the season. They will expect the pro players to put in extra hours in the gym to constantly improve their game.
Playing basketball is like a normal job. There will be nobody cooking for you or washing your clothes like it has been in your college days. Nobody will clean your apartment or drive you to places. You need to take care of all that by yourself.
In order to come to Europe you will need to have a passport which is valid for at least one more year. You will need a working visa and a residence permission.
These can be applied for after your arrival in Europe or in your country, well in-advance of your departure to Europe. You will have to apply in person, nobody else can do that for you. You will need your passport for the visa application process.
You can expect your monthly salary to be paid by the end of every month. Make sure you get the visa, otherwise you will only be allowed to stay in Europe for a maximum of 3 months. You should have a written and signed contract in your hand before boarding any plane or train, depending on where you are. The contract in the local language (German, French, Spanish etc…) is the official and main contract, the English version is only a translation. The contract must be signed by the club and the athlete. Make sure you sign each page of your contract. The contract is usually for a full season.
Once the contract is signed, you will not be permitted to leave the club, for example, in the case that you get a better offer. Likewise, the club will not be able to fire you when they, for example, find a better player. However, there are certain circumstances under which you can opt out of the contract, or when the club will be able to fire you, e.g. when contract rules are broken.