The “real world” beckons. My days of browsing the stacks at Mystery Train Records, snacking late night on a slice from Antonio’s, and taking the Mullins Center court are long gone. At the same time, I can kiss goodbye 8:00AM classes, research papers, strenuous exams, 6:00AM conditioning, and countless hours spent in Boyden/the cage/the Mullins Center. Those days are over (for the time being at least).
“Reality” has officially set in. I spent four great years in Amherst, MA, but this past May marked the end of that era. My eligibility expired, and I finished up my final course load. I packed up my belongings and made my way back home to New Hampshire with my degrees in tow. I am no longer a Umass student. Like many others, I have successfully achieved alumni status (a Umass alum entering into the workforce).
Specifically, I have entered into the industry of professional basketball. I am sure you all remember how shocked the world was this past June when my name was NOT called during the NBA Draft. Despite this unpleasant surprise, I refused to allow those pesky NBA General Managers thwart my desire to play basketball at the professional level. The NBA is not the only professional basketball league in the world. In fact, there are many leagues across the pond. With the help of my agent, the industry of my desire has welcomed me with a passport, working visa, and a plane ticket. I have since embarked on a quest to earn a living through basketball. First stop: Székesfehérvár, Hungary.
Lucky for you, I am a selfless man. Through the collaboration of some higher-ups at Umass, you will be able to accompany me along the way. I have recently been asked if I would be willing to write a biweekly blog/column for the Umass website while I am overseas, and my answer without hesitation is an emphatic “yes” (Congratulations! You are currently reading the first installment!).
Frequently players finish their college careers and head overseas to continue with their craft. Meanwhile, back in the states fans might be wondering, “whatever happened to that guy?” In fact, the guy in question may be leading a very successful career playing basketball overseas. Or, that guy’s playing career may have been quite hectic and short lived. Entering into this industry, I have a complete understanding that there will be plenty of highs and lows throughout the experience. It is not uncommon for American players to play for multiple teams in multiple countries throughout the course of a single season. There are many unknowns associated with what I am entering into. This is a reality I have accepted. The pure opportunity to experience a foreign culture, play basketball, and earn some money in the process is too much for me to turn down.
I have a lot of friends still in college who are interested in pursuing a basketball career overseas. Other people seem to be curious as to what being an overseas basketball player is all about. Nobody seems to really know anything about playing ball overseas until they experience it first hand. I am willing to share all of my experiences, the good and the bad, throughout my rookie season via this new blog. I hope that by being candid about my everything, I can help provide some perspective and shed some light on this interesting subject in an engaging/entertaining manner.