Overseas Basketball Salaries: Spain EBA Salaries [Players Survey]
SPAIN EBA BASKETBALL SALARIES SUMMARY
Monthly Salary Ranges:
Below $500USD - $1,100USD
Most Commonly Reported Monthly Salary (Imports):
$501 - $800USD (55.5%)
Lowest Reported Monthly Salary:
MAX Monthly Salary:
Import Pro Players Surveyed in Spain:
Source : Josecolorado.com, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data 
Despite being one of the most popular and competitive “starter leagues” in Europe, Spain’s EBA basketball league (4th division) salary range is quite low with 55.5% of players reporting their monthly playing wages between $501 - $800USD.
In fact, 94.3% of all players said they earned under $1000USD/month while playing in Spain’s 4th Division.
The MAX salary topped out at $1,100USD/month.
According to our player survey that looked at 100 worldwide professional leagues, that makes the EBA division the lowest-paying conference out of the four major professional basketball leagues in Spain (ACB - LEB Oro - LEB Plata - LIGA EBA).
Spain eba basketball league monthly salaries (Player survey results)
SPAIN EBA BASKETBALL LEAGUE SALARIES: spain fourth division salaries
When it comes to Spanish basketball, the hierarchy looks like:
ACB (First Division)
LEB Oro (Second Division)
LEB Plata (Third Division)
LIGA EBA (Fourth Division)
It goes without saying then that EBA - formally known as Liga Española de Baloncesto Aficionado - should and does rank as the lowest-paying league out of the 4 major categories.
But just how little they pay is still pretty eye-opening especially when considering EBA is:
Located in Spain (Ranked 2nd in FIBA rankings)
The breeding ground for the country’s younger players
Very popular “starter league” for imports/foreigners
The biggest league in Europe with 127 teams total, 5 groups and 14 divisions within those groups (Yes, you read that right)
Yet with 94.3% of all players that we surveyed earning under 1KUSD/month while playing in Spain’s 4th Division, no player will ever get rich playing in EBA.
Some experienced Spanish coaches I spoke with (in Spanish below) believe the low-pay stems from the demographics of the league as it is made up primarily of:
Younger/import players for experience
Older players whose best days are behind them but want to keep earning money
…so teams know they can lowball and players will still accept.
An average import in El Salvador - a country ranked No.135 in the world and with zero global recognition - would actually make more than an import/foreigner in Spain’s LIGA EBA - a nation ranked No.2 in the world.
That is completely nuts.
But that is how the Spanish basketball economy has devolved since the country’s 2008 economic crisis.
Comparison: El salvador (lmb) vs. spain (eba)
So EBA doesn’t = good money.
From a financial and career standpoint, you don’t want to stay in EBA for too long either:
The money is very low in general
Even if you work your salary up, the MAX salary is still quite low ($1,100USD/mth)
The work demand (i.e. potentially two-three-a-day practices) FAR outweighs the money
Clubs will wonder why you haven’t leveled up from a “beginner league”
It’s that latter point - the opportunity to move into the higher levels of Europe - and specifically Spain - that should interest you the most.
(A.) The competition is solid (in some divisions) - meaning that’s a good country and film to have on your resume.
(B.) There is no shortage of opportunities with 127 current EBA teams.
And that’s not just for “typical foreigners” (i.e. Americans).
But also for those who have the highly valuable Bosman A and Cotonou passport as both type of players are accepted in this league.
That means more opportunities for North Americans - assuming you have the proper ancestry/passport.
And sure enough:
This is I what I found in the vast majority of EBA job openings online.
One of the main - albeit rare(r) perks - of playing in EBA is the possibility of being promoted up to LEB Plata (Third Division) should your club make it to the final stages.
With 100+ clubs, the league decided that 4 teams will actually get promoted each year.
Now whether those squads have the finances to actually make the leap to Plata is another discussion.
Nonetheless, in this possible scenario:
You won’t have to look for a club the following season.
You can return with your winning club and showcase your talents in the Plata Division.
This could open up the possibility of:
Better contract opportunities with current club (potentially more sponsors if promoted)
Increasing your earning potential (other leagues in Europe respect LEB Plata)
Playing options in Spain (other clubs in Spain could take notice)
AVERAGE SALARY PER YEAR PLAYING IN spain’s eba professional basketball league
As outlined in my global breakdown of overseas pro league schedules, Spain runs during the typical European schedule - meaning 8-9 months beginning in August/Sept and going until April/May.
So while the money will certainly be low, at least players can expect to earn a steady paycheque throughout the year.
The average foreign-born professional basketball player playing in Spain’s EBA league can expect to make approximately $5,850USD per year if he is to stay for the entire nine-month season.
The math breakdown:
Take the most commonly reported monthly salary range ($501 - $800USD)
Pinpoint the middle of that range ($650USD)
Multiply $650x9 (for the number of months played per year)
Total amount = $5,850USD
Unlike in the Latin American system or in the Asian system, these lower-tier divisions do not have a year-end club championship for the winning team of the country.
In South America, the winning club from the top division in each country will qualify for the Basketball Champions League Americas.
In Asia, it’s the ASEAN league.
That doesn’t exist for lower-level Europe.
The winning club doesn’t move onto some lower form of the EuroLeague.
The winning team is simply promoted to the next highest division in the pecking order.
In other words then:
Whatever you earn from actually playing in EBA is what you will earn for the year. Period.
One possible HACK for this:
Commonly players will take on coaching positions with local academies during the season for some extra side cash. So ask about this if you want to earn more money while playing.
Although obviously this is something entirely dependent on YOUR situation.
So while the average player will earn $5,850USD per year playing in EBA, there is a possibility for a bit more (maybe $100-$200/month = $1,800USD/year) if you are willing to put in a bit more work coaching.
eba basketball salary RANKING IN spain
Of the four major divisions in Spanish professional basketball, EBA is, unsurprisingly, the lowest-ranking with an average salary of $650 per month.
With the ACB being head and shoulders above all the other Spanish leagues in pay, exposure, talent level…and everything, it would be a pointless comparison to look at it side-by-side with EBA.
Let’s compare LEB Oro, LEB Plata and Liga EBA in its pay scale.
Pay grade comparison between leb oro, LEB plata and Liga eba
As you can see, the difference between Plata (3rd Division) and EBA (4th Division) isn’t substantial…but it’s something.
More than the money though is the work strain/work load on your body.
If an import or foreign-born player is wanting to get into this league then they ought to be seriously committed in attempting to move up the European ranks.
Otherwise it doesn’t make much sense if you simply are looking to play wherever or cash out.
If that’s the case why not try for a league that is higher-paying and less demanding on your body?
Earning $200 per month while going through two hour two-a-days (or three depending on the coach) will humble any player.
And worse yet:
It could break you down physically if you aren’t prepared.
Not all players will have this option so beggars can’t be choosers.
But before entering this league you have to decide what is the objective of your career.
Is it to:
Play in the best league/levels?
Make the most money?
Play for as long as you can?
Play on a certain national team?
Depending on whatever it is you want to accomplish, you can decide whether EBA is a good fit for you or not.
SPAIN EBA BASKETBALL LEAGUE SALARY
LIGA EBA is Spain’s lowest-paying pro league out of the 4 major divisions
Most common monthly salary range in Liga EBA is between $501 - $800
The MAX Salary in Liga EBA is very low at $1,100USD/month
LIGA EBA provides a great opportunity to advance your career/wages
LIGA EBA is part of promotion system; opportunity for greater wages in future
Have you ever played in Spain’s EBA pro league?
What was your experience like financially and professionally?
Let me know in the comments below!