How to Play Basketball Overseas: 7 Steps to Help You Reach Your Professional Basketball Dream

Are you a player who believes you can continue competing at a higher level than where you are now? Are you wondering how to play basketball overseas?

Continuing to play basketball for a professional basketball team in one of the many overseas basketball leagues is a life-changing experience that not many athletes can participate in.

Basketball is an international sport, and many professional basketball players have taken their talents to foreign countries where they can continue to play and earn a living in a professional basketball league outside of the United States.

If you’re a serious basketball player, playing professionally overseas may have crossed your mind. Whether you’re looking to explore new cultures, gain new experiences, or just continue playing the game you love, there’s much to consider before making the leap.

So, how can you get started playing overseas basketball? This post will explore the steps you must take to make it happen.

What Is Overseas Basketball?

Overseas basketball is playing professional basketball outside one’s home country, typically in international leagues or teams.

It offers opportunities for players to showcase their skills and compete at a high level beyond their domestic league.

However, overseas basketball comes with challenges and differences compared to playing in the NBA or other major leagues. It often involves living in unfamiliar surroundings, adapting to different cultures, and facing competitive environments.

While less financially lucrative than the NBA, overseas basketball still allows players to earn higher salaries and gain valuable experience.

Success in overseas basketball often requires players to excel in their home country, compile impressive stats, create a player portfolio, obtain a passport, and market themselves effectively.

Overall, overseas basketball offers a unique and rewarding experience for players who, more often than not, have played college basketball, seeking to expand their careers internationally.

Reasons You Need to Know How to Play Basketball Overseas

Knowing how to play basketball overseas opens up opportunities for aspiring players seeking a professional basketball career.

First and foremost, playing overseas allows players to gain valuable international experience and exposure. It provides a platform to showcase their skills to a broader audience, including scouts, coaches, and teams from different countries.

Additionally, playing overseas allows players to immerse themselves in different cultures and learn from diverse playing styles. This exposure helps broaden their basketball knowledge and adaptability, making them more versatile and well-rounded.

Moreover, playing overseas can be financially rewarding, with many international leagues offering competitive salaries and incentives. It allows players to earn a living doing what they love while exploring new countries and experiencing different lifestyles.

Lastly, playing basketball overseas creates lifelong connections and friendships with teammates worldwide, fostering a global network of basketball professionals.

Knowing how to play basketball overseas can provide invaluable opportunities for personal growth, career advancement, and a truly unique basketball experience.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Playing Basketball Overseas

Playing basketball overseas can be an exciting and rewarding experience for players looking to expand their horizons and compete internationally.

However, navigating the process of playing overseas can be complex and intimidating. That’s why having step-by-step instructions can be incredibly helpful in ensuring a smooth transition and maximizing your chances of success.

This guide will provide you with a comprehensive and easy-to-follow set of instructions that will cover everything from preparing yourself physically and mentally to finding opportunities, securing contracts, and adapting to a new basketball culture.

1. Succeed at a high level

First things first, if you’re serious about playing professional basketball overseas, you need to have had success wherever you are playing now.

This most often means having success at the college level. You don’t have to be a Division 1 basketball player for a chance at playing basketball outside of the US. Many D2, D3, and NAIA players have had opportunities to play for teams professionally; some have even made long playing careers out of this opportunity.

2. Get stats

As you look to play overseas basketball, you will need your statistics.

Your stats play a huge role in helping teams identify whether you are a good fit for their team. Most college basketball teams today record each player’s statistics for each game, so make sure the stats are accurate to help you improve your chances of catching the eye of an overseas basketball team.

Also, get stats like your standing reach and vertical jump height to help differentiate yourself from other players.

3. Get video

A highlight film will help tremendously in getting your name out there.

If you compile a video of your top plays, you can gain the interest of overseas teams as they try to find players to fit their roster. The video should include scoring plays, dribbling, passing, rebounding, and defensive skills. Try to refrain from using music.

4. Find an agent

Once you’re physically and mentally prepared for professional basketball overseas, the next step is to find a reputable basketball agent.

An agent can assist with getting you in front of the right people and help you navigate playing overseas. Research agents and make sure you find one that has experience working specifically with basketball players. Avoid agents that ask for hefty upfront fees or make unrealistic promises.

5. Consider the market

The international basketball market is diverse, and there are many options to choose from.

Consider factors like the league’s location, level of competition, pay, and the level of support you’ll receive from your team. Do your research and contact other players who have played in the leagues you’re considering. Networking will help you better understand what to expect in terms of lifestyle and basketball culture.

6. Get your paperwork in order

Playing basketball overseas requires a lot of paperwork and red tape, so you must be prepared to handle it.

You’ll need to obtain a passport, a visa, and potentially other documents like a work permit or health certificate. This process can take several months, so start early and be patient.

7. Be open to change

Finally, playing basketball overseas can be a life-changing experience, but it’s also important to be open to new experiences and flexible in your approach.

You may encounter different rules, customs, and playing styles from overseas basketball players than you’re used to, so be prepared to adapt and learn. Embrace the culture, make connections, and make the most of your experience.

Key Considerations on How to Play Basketball Overseas

When it comes to playing basketball overseas, it’s essential to research and understand the different leagues and countries where basketball opportunities exist. Each country has its own basketball culture, style of play, and level of competition. Assessing which league aligns with your skill set and goals is crucial.

Additionally, language and cultural barriers can be significant factors to consider. Familiarizing yourself with the local language, customs, and traditions can help you adapt quickly to your new surroundings.

Financial considerations are also important, as overseas contracts may vary regarding salary, benefits, and living expenses. It’s crucial to evaluate the financial stability and reputation of the team or league before making any commitments.

Lastly, staying mentally and physically prepared is vital. Playing basketball overseas can be demanding, both physically and emotionally. Being resilient, open-minded, and dedicated to improving your skills will significantly enhance your chances of success.

Considering these key factors, you can make informed decisions and better position yourself for a successful basketball career overseas.

Taking It to The Next Level: How to Decide Which Overseas Basketball Team You’ll Play For

When deciding which overseas basketball team to play for, it’s essential to assess your own goals and priorities. Determine what you hope to achieve by playing overseas, whether it’s gaining exposure, improving your skills, or earning a higher salary.

Next, research different teams and leagues to find the best fit for your playing style and position. Consider the team’s track record, coaching staff, and level of competition.

It’s also crucial to evaluate the financial aspect, including the team’s budget, salary offers, and potential incentives.

Additionally, take into account the location and lifestyle. Consider factors such as the culture, language, climate, and quality of life in the city where the team is based.

Lastly, networking and seeking advice from players who have previously played overseas can provide valuable insight and guidance.

Alternative Methods to Play Basketball Overseas

In addition to traditional methods of playing basketball overseas, there are alternative paths that aspiring players can explore.

One avenue is participating in international basketball camps and showcases. These events bring together talented players from around the world and provide opportunities to showcase skills in front of scouts, coaches, and team representatives.

Another option is joining a basketball agency or consulting firm specializing in placing players overseas. These agencies often have connections with teams and can help facilitate the process of finding playing opportunities abroad.

Additionally, some players use online platforms and social media to market themselves to international teams. Players can increase their chances of securing playing contracts by creating highlight reels, promoting their abilities, and connecting with overseas teams directly.

Ultimately, these alternative methods offer additional avenues for players to pursue their dreams of playing basketball overseas, and players should consider these options alongside more traditional approaches.


Playing basketball overseas can be a daunting prospect. Still, with the proper preparation and mindset, it can be a rewarding experience that allows you to continue playing the game you love while exploring new opportunities and cultures.

Follow these steps and stay focused on your goals, and you’ll be well on your way to playing professional basketball overseas.

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