Last year a professional basketball player was offered a contract to play for a team in the United Kingdom. The player called me and asked if I would look over the contract to make sure he was signing a fair contract. As I reviewed the contract I noticed one thing that stood out, the salary. The salary was $70,000 and with bonuses, worth around $90,000, after tax. Many teams on the international market pay this type of salary however in recent years I have not seen a contract from the UK totaling such an amount.
Although the contract had the team logo, Presidents name and address on it, (who I know very well) I was still unsure as to the validity of the contract, but I told the player the club could have landed a big sponsor and might be able to pay such an amount. Some might ask, why didn’t I call the President of the club?
As a PPD Specialist, my role is to provide personal development services for athletes, not act as an agent.
After signing the contract and sending it back to the club. The player was then asked to send money through Western Union to pay for half of his flight to London. Huge red flag!
I checked around and my international contacts informed me this is the scam, which has grown into big business. Unfortunately, a group of people (Nigerians) have blank basketball contracts and use them to trick players into thinking they have a job playing overseas. After the player signs the contract, the Nigerians quickly request money from the player, stating “the money is for half of the amount of the flight and the player will be reimbursed once they land” soon after receiving the money these Nigerians end up disappearing.
Since the summer, I have spoke to ten players who have been asked to send money to a team for a flight and none of them were real playing jobs. Just the Nigerians trying to trick them into sending money. These folks are based in London and will tell you they are officially a scout for the team. In actuality, they have nothing to do with the team.
Every college basketball player passed over by the NBA, wants to have an opportunity to play overseas and these folks know that. They will tell you everything you want to hear and provide a contract that looks real. Don’t be fooled, check and recheck the people your doing business with. Look on the internet and see if the team is looking for players and most importantly be realistic. If you have any questions contact me @drmarkppd or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join our Facebook group.