Jose Colorado

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Iceland Basketball League Salaries (Urvalsdeild/Subway League, Division 1, Division 2)

Iceland Basketball League Salary (Urvalsdeild, D1, D2)

Player Salary Ranges

US$1,000 - $9,000/per month [Across all leagues]

Most Commonly Reported Player Salary

US$1,500 - $3,500/mth [Across all leagues]

Lowest Reported Salary

US$1,000/mth [D2]

Maximum Salary

US$9,000/mth [Urvalsdeild]

Sources (Players, Coaches, Media, GMs)

17 [seventeen]

Source :, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data [2023]

Iceland Basketball league salary

Iceland’s average basketball league salary in its top division - the Urvalsdeild - is roughly US$3,000 - $6,000/per month.

However, at the lower levels (D1-D3) players can expect between $1,300 - $2,000/per month.

According to our overseas basketball salaries study that examined 100+ leagues worldwide, Iceland is, thus, in the Mid-High-Tier pay grade in overseas basketball.


Unlike many places in Europe - Iceland can actually pay pretty decent salaries (by European standards) at various levels in its tier system.

So let’s break down each option below.

Iceland's basketball league salaries will vary depending on the competition but the Urvalsdeild league will pay the most at US$1,500 - $9,000/per month.

Iceland Basketball league

Iceland Basketball League (Pro Levels)



Urvalsdeild (Subway League)

First Division


Second Division


Third Division


Fourth Division

In Iceland there are four main professional basketball leagues where players receive basketball salaries. Those include the Urvalsdeild - commonly known as the Subway League (official sponsor), D1 (second-tier), D2 and D3.

Of the three, the Subway League is - of course - the most well-known.

It attracts the best:

  • Players

  • Arenas

  • Sponsors

  • Basketball salaries

  • Media coverage


But before we go any further:

Let’s get something straight.

The Subway League can also be known as the Premier League or the Urvalsdeild.

It just depends on who you’re talking to.

But in the end:

It’s the same thing - Iceland’s top professional league.

Below that:

There is the second-tier league which is actually called Division 1.

Yes, even though it’s called Division 1 (1. Deild karla in Icelandic), it’s the second-level in the Icelandic pro system.

Somewhat confusing.

The same thing goes for D2 (2. Deild Karla) and D3 (3. Deild Karla). These are actually the third and fourth-tiers, respectively.

Make sense? Perfect.

So let’s start where every player would want to play: The Subway League.

Iceland urvalsdeild Basketball

Iceland Basketball League Salary: Urvalsdeild (Subway League)

Player Salary Ranges

US$1,500 - $9,000/per month

Most Commonly Reported Player Salary

US$3,000 - $6,000/mth

Lowest Reported Salary


Maximum Salary


Source :, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data [2023]

Founded in 1952, Iceland’s Urvalsdeild basketball league is the country’s top professional level. Here, players commonly make $3K - $6K/per month while the top names earn $7K - $9K/per month.

On the other end of the spectrum:

The lowest salaries reported were roughly $1,500 - $2,000/per month.

So no - money wise, the Subway League can’t compete with other First Division levels in Europe where players are easily clearing six-figures, such as:


But that should be expected.

After all:

Iceland’s population is less than half a million people.

How could it realistically be expected to compete with Europe’s other first division levels?

When comparing Iceland to leagues relative to its size - such as Malta - then its salaries become much more appreciated.


Njardvik Basketball

Alongside IR & KR Reykjavik, UMFN Njardvik have dominated Iceland’s professional basketball league. Each club has won 15+ titles a piece while no other Icelandic pro team has won over 10.

So it’s tough to pinpoint exactly THEE TEAM that is paying the most cash.


It appears the clubs go through cycles of domination.

For instance:

Njardvik won 6 championships in 7 years in the 80s.

But they haven’t won a title since 2006.

Meanwhile, more recently, KR Reykjavik - also referred to as KR Basket - won 9 SubLeague titles in the 2010s!


Players tell me other good-paying teams could include:

  • Valur Reykjavik

  • Keflavik IF

  • U.M.F. Tindastoll Sauoarkrokur

Two other ways to measure the best Icelandic teams:

  • The Iceland Cup (Bikarkeppni KKÍ)

  • The Iceland SuperCup (Meistarakeppni karla)


These are two more in-season tournaments - and that’s great news.

Whenever cups, tournaments or a championship is up for grabs, teams will add incentives and bonuses for winning them.

So these present another opportunity for players to add onto their base salaries.

Iceland Basketball league division 1

Iceland Basketball League Salary (Division 1)

Player Salary Ranges

US$1,000 - $2,000/per month

Most Commonly Reported Player Salary

US$1,400 - $1,600/mth

Lowest Reported Salary


Maximum Salary


Source :, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data [2023]

Overseas basketball players in Iceland’s Division 1 (D1) professional league - which is actually its second-tier - will usually make between $1,400 - $1,600/per month.

Players often MAX out at US$2,000/per month at this level.

On the lower end:

US$1,000/per month was the lowest reported for players.

But it gets better:

Often times, D1 teams will give players youth academies to coach at to supplement their income. (This also occurs in the Subway League as well.)

So this can push your salary a couple of hundred dollars higher.

In fact:

Players coaching at youth academies is very common throughout the overseas basketball world.

I know everywhere I went to play, teams asked me to coach as well.

And this concept makes sense.

Just think about it.

You are essentially providing double the value to the organization in this way.

When you’re not playing, you’re coaching.

When you’re not coaching, you’re playing.

That’s why it’s critical all serious overseas basketball players sharpen up their youth coaching skills.

If you do:

It will make you a more attractive asset to pro clubs.

Iceland Basketball league division 2

Iceland’s D2 basketball league - which is actually its third-tier pro division - will often pay its players between $1,100 - $1,300/per month playing.

Similar to the other levels, players will typically increase that salary by coaching at the team’s youth academies.

So in the end:

Icelandic basketball salaries may not be the most compelling - but they are decent.

More importantly:

Iceland is a country of opportunity.

That’s because in Iceland, the leagues make good use of the European Union passport - also known as the Bosman A.

For instance, currently, teams are allowed to have:

  • One import (American usually)

  • Unlimited Bosman A players

  • Icelandic dual citizens counting as nationals (a few Americans do this)

That means teams are able to scout players from across the world for this league.

It makes for pretty diverse rosters (see below).

Iceland Basketball Leagues allow for multiple Bosman A players on its professional basketball league rosters.

Iceland Basketball Leagues allow for multiple Bosman A players on its professional rosters (Image: EuroBasket).

However - at the time of this writing (and this could change in the future) - there is a rule in place:

Players must have at least two Icelandic players on the court at all times.

That means teams usually opt for rosters to look something like this:

  • 1 American

  • 3 Bosman A (since only two can play at the same time anyway)

  • Others are Icelandic

Although this will obviously vary from roster to roster.

At this point I hope you’re realizing the importance of this info.

The Icelandic leagues demonstrate - once again - the massive value of passports in overseas basketball.

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Think about it.

As a pure American you have a single roster spot to compete for.

One spot.

If you’re a European Union member then you have multiple slots reserved for you.

Icelandic or an Icelandic dual citizen?

You have an even greater chance of getting on.

That means players with European ties (through their parents, grandparents) must try to stack the odds in their favour, if possible.

Explore your citizenship and ancestry to the fullest.

It will make it that much easier to crack a roster, guaranteed.

In my 1-on-1 Overseas Basketball Consultations, I break down these type of techniques and strategies to my clients to get their careers started and/or advance.

So make sure to book an appointment if that’s something you’re interested in.

What is it like playing basketball in Iceland

Iceland is notoriously one of the most expensive European countries, making for unique challenges for overseas basketball players who do not have large basketball salaries.

That, and limited sunlight are reported as the two biggest challenges.

OK - so let’s begin with the Icelandic lifestyle.

In almost all cases, Icelandic pro clubs will cover:

  • Food

  • Housing (WiFi, laundry etc.)

  • Flights (round-trip)

  • Transportation (to-and-from practices/games)

With that being said:

Iceland is still expensive to live in and there is - typically - a limit to how much teams will cover.

For instance:

When I played in El Salvador I was given a food stipend of $250/per month.

Seems like nothing.

But $250/per month actually extends pretty far in El Salvador - especially if you can cook.

After all:

It’s a developing country.

I rarely - if ever - went over my $250 food limit so I was completely pocketing my:

  • Base salary

  • Youth coaching salary

  • Bonuses

  • Small portions of my food money ($50 - $70)

In comparison:

In Iceland you would burn through $250/per month like it’s nothing.

That means you’d have to dip into your playing salary - and that’s not good.

You want to go home with as much cash as possible to set yourself up towards your financial and life goals.

Cultural experiences (sightseeing, going out) are another consideration.

Unless you rarely go out then these trips can also add up quickly.

Then again, it’s also possible your team could take you out for these experiences (pretty common).

Nonetheless: It is something to consider.

Try to think like a businessperson when overseas because you are one.

You want retain as much cash as possible to put into assets while you are playing.

That way:

You can make passive income while also hooping.


Every waking moment you’ll be making money.

Not a bad situation to be in.

The classic Rich Dad, Poor Dad helped me change my mindset early on for this when I was playing.

Another important consideration is the weather.

Iceland is dark and cold - as in really dark and cold; especially when you’ll be there.

Remember, Iceland’s pro leagues play during the standard European basketball season (approx. August - April).

According to reports, the country can experience as little as 4-5 hours for months at a time.

If you’re from California: Can you imagine getting four hours of sunlight per day?

Of course, it’s not all bad.

Iceland is beautiful. The hikes are breathtaking.

And it is a truly unique cultural experience to go there.

But players are advising me, if you want to succeed in Iceland then:

  • Make sure you aren’t impacted by seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

  • Make sure you enjoy nature, hiking, outdoors and are OK with darkness

  • Be financially responsible since city and food are expensive

  • Know Reykjavik is the only main “city” to enjoy

Otherwise, your on-court production and mental health could suffer.


So there you have it.

Despite its size, Iceland’s basketball leagues provide a decent platform for overseas basketball players.


  • Iceland has four professional basketball leagues

  • The top Icelandic basketball league is called the Urvalsdeild (Subway League)

  • The best players get paid US$7,000 - $9,000/per month

  • D1 - D3 still pays respectable overseas basketball wages at $1,000 - $2,000/mth

  • Living in Iceland presents unique challenges for overseas basketball players

Any questions about Iceland’s basketball leagues?
Comment below!

Jose Colorado, professional basketball player, talks overseas basketball scams.

Jose Colorado is a 6-year professional basketball player helping others achieve their dreams of pro basketball with a proven and tested approach to overseas basketball.


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