It’s time to start going to bed a bit earlier because even the milkman has noticed that you tend to say, ‘goodnight’ instead of, ‘good morning’ when he’s doing the rounds at 5am. That is if you want to get another job of course. Whilst it can be quite good fun to smoke weed and play Pro Evolution Soccer until the early hours every night, you’ll never be able to hold down a steady job if you don’t get some decent shut eye.
Your attempts to find employment thus far have been somewhat blighted by your nocturnal habits, so it’s time to consider forging a new career for yourself.
Have you ever considered becoming a professional basketball player?
You’ll rarely have to work outdoors apart from the odd bit of roadwork and you might even get a pair of trainers named after you if you end up making it big.
If not staying inside a D-shaped area of a playing court for more than 5 seconds sounds like it could be your idea of fun, here’s what you’ll need to do in order to become successful:
1. Learn the rules of the game
It sounds obvious but the more you know the game the better you’ll be able to play. You should consider asking people you know about the game and have a look at websites, ask coaches and of course you’ll need to join a team. Basketball needs to become so much a part of you that you end up with the word, ‘Spalding,’ tattooed across your forehead (please don’t do this for real as it was just a metaphor to explain how much you need to absorb the sport).
2. Get in shape
No matter how much natural talent you might have, a lesser player can still beat a superstar if he or she is in good shape. The greatest basketball players are a combination of great shooting, great defence and great all round team play and it’s impossible to excel in all areas unless you’re in tip-top condition. We suggest therefore that you stop playing Pro Evolution Soccer and smoking weed until 5am and get yourself down to the gym to do some training pronto!
3. Dribble like crazy
Of course, we don’t mean place a bib on and see how much saliva you can drool over yourself over a given time period – we’re referring to your ability to move with the ball across a basketball court. You should be able to feel where the ball is at all times with minimal effort. If this is a problem for you and you often find yourself waving your hand up and down in mid-air whilst the ball bounces off in another direction, you might not be good enough to become professional.
4. Practice shooting
This is not to be confused with donning some tweed and setting off into the countryside looking for grouse in the company of a Golden Retriever. In basketball you need to shoot the ball into the hoop to score points so it’s pretty darn important that you get proficient at it. We suggest you take a look at some of the best shooters in the game and examine closely how they hold their balls when they’re shooting – no you filthy devil, we mean the basketballs.
5. Always think about team play
It’s important to remember that basketball is a team game so you need to consider passing to other players rather than going for a shot every time you get the ball. As hard as this will be, you won’t be very popular in the team if you keep attempting 90 foot underarm lobs from your own baseline unless they go in every time – which is highly unlikely!
6. Become a high school basketball star
Your next step will be to get noticed at college level so you’ll need to have gained a gold-plated profile for yourself on the high school circuit first. It’s important to understand that a willingness to learn is as important at this point as your skills with the ball, so no tantrums if the coach criticises you or makes suggestions as to how you could improve – PLEASE!!
7. Work hard academically
Decent grades will be important at both high school and college level so it’s important that you work hard academically to make sure you get good grades. You won’t necessarily have to be a straight A student if you want to become a basketball player, but good grades will increase your chances of landing a scholarship and will also show your prospective college that you’re the type of student they would want to have attending their institution.
8. Develop your basketball brain
Playing basketball isn’t only about playing basketball. It’s also about how well you understand the finer points of the game. Coaches are looking for players that have a good basketball brain which means that if they were to prise open the top of your head they’d expect to find an orange rubber sphere with black stripes in there – which of course it doesn’t. It actually means that you’re able to think of all the ways to make the next shot, how to overcome obstacles, and also have poise whilst keeping to a rhythmic, calm tempo.
9. Go to college
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll go straight from high school into the NBA as most people hone their skills over 4 years at college playing against better opponents. If you do however emerge as an exceptional talent at this stage, you may want to consider getting an agent to help you proceed to the next stage which is hopefully to be a part of the following year’s draft (please note: this has nothing to do with cold air blowing into a room or playing strategic board games that involve diagonal moves).
10. Attend an NBA pre-draft camp
Your Mr. 20% should now be touting your name about and telling anyone who will listen what a star you’re going to be in the future. He or she should also have got you into the pre-draft camps where you’ll get the opportunity to make more connections and get your name and face known better. This could give you the chance to turn pro providing you play your best and don’t bottle it!
11. Get drafted
The draft is basically a shop window where the top college players get to show the world why they’re good enough to make it in the NBA. There are two rounds of the draft and one by one players get chosen by teams. By this point you should now be on the precipice of a glittering sporting career – we hope!
12. Become the next Michael Jordan
Roughly 1% of all college players make it through the draft to become a professional basketball player. This means that out of you and 99 others, only one of you will likely get chosen. They’re slim odds, but think back to how good you got at Pro Evolution Soccer by playing every night and smoking weed until 5am for 6 months straight. If you apply the same effort to your basketball career, you’ll have your own sneaker endorsement in no time.