Jose Colorado

Helping basketball players achieve their pro dreams.

Overseas Basketball Teams Looking for Players: How to Find A Team in 2021 [4-STEP GUIDE]

Overseas basketball teams purposely don’t make job openings public.


With so many players desperately wanting to get on, pro clubs know there needs to be some sort of filtering process so that only worthwhile candidates can reach them.

So you have to be on top of when, where, why, what, how and who overseas basketball teams are recruiting, otherwise opportunities will be wasted.

In this guide I’ll show you 4 HUGE FACTORS you must consider so that you will definitely know when overseas teams need players.

Let’s begin.

how to find overseas basketball teams looking for players

Ask 50 aspiring pros and all 50 will confidently say they deserve to be on an overseas squad.

…and maybe they do.

But pro teams only have so much time.

It simply isn’t possible to look at every player out there.

So in case you were wondering:

There is no global overseas basketball job posting board.

You have to twist and turn to find your way to a job in this profession.


If teams don’t know you then you won’t be one of their top priorities - or a priority at all, more truthfully speaking.


Overseas clubs will always revert back to the people they are most familiar with.

But more importantly:

They will reach out to those who have provided them with good results in the past.

So yes:

The odds are against you if you don’t have a connection with a:

  • Pro club

  • Trusted Agent

  • Pro coach

  • Mutual connection within a particular organization

…etc. because teams purposely aren’t looking for you.

But there are some GREAT ways to sway this in your favor.

When are overseas basketball teams looking for players

To maximize your chances of getting signed to an overseas basketball team you must understand the timeliness of when overseas basketball teams are looking to sign players. This boils down to 2 key factors: signing periods and season schedules.


You will always be behind the 8-ball.

And because of that you will be messaging and applying for teams/jobs in irrelevant time frames. This becomes especially important when you consider how time sensitive overseas basketball is.

For instance:

It’s VERY COMMON for teams to need players to:

  1. Sign a contract

  2. Fly in

  3. Play a game

…within the span of a few days.

This could be because of a:

  • Must-win scenario (playoffs, play-in game)

  • Player replacement (performance, injury, behavior)

  • Special upcoming game (rivalry match-up)


But, again, there won’t be some sort of formal job posting yelling,


That’s YOUR responsibility to find out.

…Or your agent’s.

…Or your “basketball manager/connector.”

Point is:

The burden is on you and your people (if you have any).

Do the necessary research and be on top of the situation so that you can fully understand teams’ urgency and desperation and when to strike when the iron is hot.

Overseas basketball signing periods


In overseas basketball there are essentially 4 signing periods.

Based on your level (e.g. rookie, low-level pro, experienced veteran etc.), you should be researching specific signing periods in each league.

Overseas Basketball Teams look to sign players in certain parts of the season.


The off-season and pre-season is when the majority of signings happen in overseas basketball as teams - ideally - want their rosters in place prior to the start of training camp.

So aspiring players wanting to know when overseas basketball teams are looking for players should be most active during this time period.

The off-season is most active because clubs have time to:

  • Finalize contract details

  • Plan how to build their roster

  • Strategize what playing style they want to use

  • Arrange accommodations (flights, housing)

  • Begin building team chemistry through workouts


The best clubs in each overseas league will likely get the majority of their signings done in the off-season with many deals also happening in the pre-season.

These squads are:

  • More organized

  • Have more money

  • Have more personnel

  • Have better scouts, connections

…so they will always be a bit more on top of this than other clubs in their division.

And usually they already have their “preferred” guys/girls (remember the pyramid from above).


That definitely isn’t to say that unproven/rookie players can’t get signed to the top clubs in certain leagues - it all just depends on where you are.

For example:

In a higher-level league like La Liga (1st Division) in Argentina it’s almost a guarantee that the better clubs will sign imports they are familiar with.

But in a lower-level league like Spain’s EBA (4th Division), unproven imports come in all the time to the better clubs since it’s seen as a “starter” or “springboard league.”


The goal of many of these lower-mid-level leagues/teams is not to stay.


It’s to prove yourself so that you can move up a division.

For that reason when it comes to these mid-to-lower level overseas pro leagues, contracts are almost always signed for only a single season (not multiple seasons or years).

That allows players the mobility and opportunity to leave at season’s end should they deserve:

  • Higher salaries

  • Better competition

  • Better conditions

  • Better treatment


So there is a lot of player movement each season and that means opportunities for beginners/rookies to get signed in the off-season and pre-season (more on this later).


There are many instances where teams will deliberately wait until the season has begun before they actually sign certain players - usually foreigners.

In particular, this applies to the mid-lower budget teams in many countries as expenses can all quickly add up for these smaller clubs.

Expenses saved by delaying a signing until in-season

Pie chart meant to give a general illustration. Distribution is not representative of any specific case.

By delaying a signing until later on in the year, pro teams are able to reduce these costs significantly.

Better yet for a club:

If the player is already in the country - say through a:

  • Basketball exposure academy

  • Exposure camp

  • Pro tour

  • National team tournament

  • Youth coaching position

  • Other job opportunity

  • Overseas trip/vacation

…etc. then the club also eliminates the cost of a flight (expensive).

The other main reason for an in-season signing?

A player is released or cut mid-season.

This is a very common practice in overseas basketball wherever you play.

Players get cut all the time at every level, league and country.

Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Performance issues (not playing well enough)

  • Behavioral issues

  • Club financial issues (too expensive)

  • Injury

  • Opt-out clause in contract

Remember then:

In-season signing periods mean that you have to ACTUALLY KNOW when leagues are taking place so that you can take advantage of all the opportunities pouring in from released and delayed signings.

For that I would recommend checking out my global chart breakdown for nearly every notable country/league in the world.

I even included the start and stop dates for the last “normal” basketball season in 2018 -2019 (pre-pandemic) so that you have a great idea when it’s time to strike.


Identical to the in-season scenario, clubs view playoff signings from two standpoints:

  • Performance

  • Financial

In fact:

A harsh - but common - practice in overseas basketball is for clubs to have a “cheaper” player throughout the regular season so that they can cut them before or during the playoffs for a more “expensive” and experienced player for the championship run.

For example:

Maybe a pro club in Chile’s Liga Nacional (1st Division) wants to bring in a proven player who charges 4KUSD/month.

But they can’t afford him for the entire season.

Because they know they can’t afford him for the entire season (7 months in this case), they may just sign a less-experienced player in the meanwhile.

This less experienced hooper just wants to build his resume so he’s happy making $1,500USD/month.

That’s a difference of $17,500USD over the course of the season.

Financial Difference between signing experienced vs. inexperienced player

This is an example for illustrative purposes. Overseas basketball season lengths will vary


Feeling they can’t win the league championship with the less-experienced player - the team immediately cuts him right before the playoffs begin, bringing in the experienced guy they wanted all along.

This way:

  1. The team needs to only pay the higher monthly salary (4K) for the playoffs (month or two)


  2. Team needs to pay for however many days they are in the playoffs (4k prorated - so could be less if the team is eliminated earlier)


Proven and experienced players will benefit most from the playoff signing period.

Rarely, if ever, will a team hit up an unproven player to get them over the hump.

where are overseas basketball teams looking for players

So now that you know how-when-who and why players are signed in the periods that they are, the next biggest question is where.

Where are overseas basketball teams looking for players?

If you are a higher-end NCAA player (high-mid major) or have years of experience overseas, then chances are you won’t need to search too hard.

Teams will be looking at you.

Whether that be through an agent, managers or on their own, teams will seek out these players.

And chances are - quite honestly - if you’re in this boat, you wouldn’t even reading this to begin with because you’re already out there doing the damn thing.

But for the rest of the market - and that’s the vast majority of you (likely 85 - 90%):

You have to be actively looking for opportunities for where overseas pro teams could be looking for players.


Agents come as one of the most interesting sources when it comes to figuring out where overseas basketball teams are looking for players.


When teams have an opening, they begin their brain storming with players they are familiar with at the top until they move all the way downwards to unknown commodities.


If you are connected with a reputable agent or with someone who has a nice “niche” within a certain country or league, then your name could be given some serious consideration when job openings occur.


  1. How do you find an agent to represent you?

  2. How do you find an agent who will actually invest time in your career?

On that second point, understand something:

Just because someone is an agent doesn’t mean they are:

  • Well-connected to pro teams

  • Trusted by pro teams

  • Will enhance your career

In fact:

All it takes to get a FIBA-licensed agent certification is a single entrance test.

If you pass the exam, you’re a FIBA agent.

So in theory:

If a pizza delivery guy in Timbuktu wanted to become an agent, all he would have to do is study and pass the test.


Would that agent have:

  • Connections

  • Reputation

  • Negotiation skills

  • Understanding of the market

….obviously not if he is completely new to overseas basketball.

In other words then:

You have to find an agent who is best suited for YOUR skill level and situation.

Don’t get tricked into thinking signing with any agent out there will get you a job.

Ask questions like:

  1. Do they have a proven track record?

  2. How many players have they placed (and where)?

  3. What level of clients do they work with (e.g. NBA, High-NCAA, NAIA etc.)?

  4. Do they deal with certain nationalities (e.g. Bosman A only)?

  5. Where are they located?

  6. How many clients do they have currently?

  7. How many years of experience do they have?

  8. Are they a former pro player/coach (likely more connected)?

  9. Is this their full-time or part-time job?

  10. Do they look professional and reputable with things like a website, office etc.?

If - and that is a big if - you can align yourself with an agent who has actual influence and who suits you well, then this you’ve unlocked one of the most powerful ways to find when overseas basketball teams are looking for jobs.

Good agents can be the gateway to this riddle but they are also one of the toughest to find.


Overseas Basketball Teams looking for players can post on job boards.

Image credit:

Not everyone can sign with an agent though.

And not everyone may want to.

Locking yourself up to a year-long contract (or more) is something you need to seriously consider the consequences of.

That makes job boards/postings an interesting option for free agents to monitor.

Overseas basketball job boards/postings are most often found on social media websites as basketball connectors frequently post job openings throughout the world acting as the middle man to pro clubs.

In theory:

These postings represent when overseas basketball teams are looking for players.

While I personally know of some players who have had success with these job boards, there are a few things to consider beforehand:

  1. These boards aren’t regulated (higher chance of scams)

  2. Harder to verify/background check person posting the job

  3. Often club/country name aren’t attached

  4. Little info is provided

Here’s a typical example:

Overseas basketball teams looking for players sometimes ask agents to post on job boards.

Image credit:

For these reasons you could really be taking a Hail Mary.


Here’s another way you could tell when overseas teams may be looking for players.

Of all the options provided, I’d spend the least time on this.

Proceed with caution…


Maybe the most secure way of knowing when overseas basketball teams are looking for players is to actually GO TO WHERE THE TEAMS ARE AND FIND OUT.

Of course this costs the most money but it could also deliver the biggest result.


With you literally in front of a team practicing/working out, clubs can:

  • Compare your skill level to other nationals in the league/country

  • Compare your skill level to other imports in the league/country

  • Evaluate how you gel with your teammates and team culture

  • Get a concrete feeling of you as a person through face-to-face conversations

  • Eliminate the flight cost should they want to sign you (since you flew yourself there)

Credible basketball academies provide a viable option for this as you can have a multi-day(or week) session in front of coaches, teams and scouts.

Just be sure to attend one during the appropriate signing period and when the season is actually taking place.

You can also find your workouts on your own.

If you’re taking this route then I’d recommend contacting teams ahead of time and trying to negotiate a potential workout.

You can STRONGLY incentivize teams to take a closer look at you if you have “national status” - or the potential to get national status (e.g. you’re eligible to get another passport but just haven’t yet) - to the country you are traveling to.

Watch this video if you don’t understand why:

Another way to get in front of coaches:

Find a regular job overseas - meaning a 9-5 (e.g. teaching English, basketball academy).

Get yourself settled in the environment and then start contacting, networking and arranging workouts with nearby clubs.

As unlikely as this may sound initially, I’ve seen plenty of players do this on multiple occasions whether it was getting overseas via a basketball academy, English-teaching job or an online gig.

They eventually got their shot.


Whenever you can get in front of a coach’s eyes, you are at a distinct advantage.

Coaches no longer have to guess whether your highlight video will translate onto the floor.

Just cpnsider a few things beforehand:

  1. Pick a country you’d be interested living in for a while even if the overseas basketball thing doesn’t work out (lowers financial commitment this way)

  2. Understand the country’s demographics: Are the people there taller or smaller? This matters because certain country’s only want big guys and vice versa

  3. Understand the import/foreigner allowance

  4. Choose a realistic level to get started at


So next time you’re wondering which overseas basketball teams are looking for players, always start from the four principles pro teams consider and then work from there:

  1. When are the overseas basketball signing periods?

  2. Why are overseas basketball teams switching players (salary, performance)?

  3. Who or what type of player is the team looking for (rookie, proven pro)?

  4. Where is it most likely the team will look for the player (agent, exposure camp)?

Players chime in.
How has your search for overseas basketball teams gone?
Have you used any of these techniques?
Comment below and let me know!

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

Jose Colorado is a five-year professional basketball player helping others achieve their goals of pro basketball through a proven, research-based approach.