Who is there to help advance my career?
Key Learnings
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Take the decision to work with an agent very seriously because you are deciding to let someone act on your behalf.
Ensure your agent has (a) certification from FIBA to work within International Basketball as an agent; (b) a solid understanding of Basketball and the professional market; and (c) a reputation for honesty, reliability and professionalism.
Consider using different representatives (agent, financial advisor, and lawyer) for different parts of your personal and professional affairs.
Don’t sign any documents that you have not read or do not understand.
Remember that the reputation you build at the early stages of your career will impact how marketable you are when you are playing at higher levels.
Build good relationships with your sponsors to increase the chances of renewing your contract.
Educate yourself on basic technical financial language so you can adequately evaluate your options when meeting with potential advisors.

Signing an agent agreement

Once you have determined what type of representation you need and which agent can best provide those services, it is important to clearly establish the terms of the player-agent relationship. Consider these points when finalising an agreement with an agent:

  • Be very clear about your goals for your career. Make sure your agent shares them and is ready (and qualified) to help you achieve them.
  • Require your agent to disclose all of his or her current and previous professional relationships. There may be conflicts of interest, and you need to determine if you are comfortable with those potential conflicts before signing any agreements.
  • Create a written contract that both you and the agent will sign. The contract should clearly state the following criteria: length of agreement, payment structure, expectations of both parties, scope of agent’s duties, process for terminating contract, etc.
  • Refer to FIBA’s Standard Contract as a guide for developing a contract with an agent.
  • Refer to FIBA’s “Suggested points between Club & Player” document to see a list of points that FIBA encourages you to address when developing a contract with a club.
  • Refer to the clauses from the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT) that pertain to player- agent-club relationships to understand important agent-club related considerations before signing a final agreement. Make sure to insert the BAT dispute resolution clause in all your contracts.
  • Consider consulting a lawyer to go over (or draft) the terms of the contract before you sign anything. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to clarify or revise any unclear or unacceptable terms before an agreement is signed.
  • Translate the contract if it is not written in your primary language. Ask that it be translated by a trusted source to ensure you fully understand the terms of the contract.
  • Include in the contract an annual or semi-annual review of your finances if you have entrusted your agent to handle all off-court matters. Get this review done by an independent auditor. This will keep your agent accountable for his or her management of your finances, as well as provide you with greater peace of mind.

Before signing, take your time and remember that this decision will have a significant impact on your career. Don’t feel pressured to commit to anything with which you are not entirely comfortable.