Javon McCrea has played several seasons in Europe since he finished his college career with Buffalo in 2014.
McCrea has played pro basketball in Germany with Medi Bayreuth and Tubingen Walters-Tigers, in France with SLUC Nancy, in Israel with Maccabi Rishon LeZion and in Puerto Rico with Cangrejeros de Santurce.
The forward shared with Sportando his guidelines for overseas athletes.
Javon McCreaʼs Guidelines For Overseas Athletes
1- Make sure you know the teams history four to five years prior. There’s a lot of losing organizations in Europe. With it being so many leagues and countries to play in it dilutes the playing level. Once the team starts doing bad the foreigners are the first to blame no matter how well you play. They make decisions on cutting players based off of who makes the most money most times and not on who under performs.
2- Demand in your contract that you have to approve of the house they place you in. Overseas your house and car is included into the contract. Most teams give you a sub par car and also a sub par apartment to save money for themselves.
3- Take videos of your house and your car upon arrival. They will try to accuse you of damages that were there before. And don’t think you’re getting brand new amenities. These houses and cars have been used for years before you.
4- Watch out for your teammates this isn’t college anymore. There’s money involved now so even your teammates could be plotting on your demise. Also European contracts aren’t long so next season this same person can be your competition. And trust me prior to the game in film he’s telling the teams all your weaknesses and also any personal business that may benefit the team. Stay focused on the job were not supposed to be friends.
5- If you feel as if you’re injured, please request not one but a second opinion too. There’s been countless amounts of situations where I’ve been forced to play through injuries. Also I’ve been released from teams because I refused to play through legit injuries. The team manager will try to make you feel bad, call you a baby, a little girl, anything in order to get you on the court. But also criticize you for not playing perfectly through an injury. Stay strong and get an opinion from someone thats not in the organization.
6- The local players have more power than you. Don’t come into the situation thinking you will be catered too. The local players are more invested into these teams. They can control them in a way they can’t do with us. There’s also a small size of national players/coaches that can actually go to other countries so they have a loyalty trait that we don’t.
7- Bring Family!!! It can get real lonely over here. You have practice 10-12am ^ 6-8pm on most teams so there’s a lot of time to spare. Yeah you can play video games all day but is that really living? Get out and explore with your loved ones. Its great memories to keep.
8- Embrace the fans. Don’t be the cool guy thats too good to be judged. Were athletes and performers too. People pay a lot of money to see us just like the movies or an opera show. Come ready to put on a great show. Show enthusiasm, show that you care, show all emotions, fans love to see energy and it could help the outcome of the game. Okay maybe its not the NBA to you but there’s a little kid out there that sees you just like you view Lebron. Everyone is amazing to somebody… remember that.
9- After a loss get over it. Yes your coach is going to act as if its the end of the world. But thats only because of his job. The coaches don’t care as much as you think. Trust me coach will go home with his wife, drink wine, and count the money he just made. Yes when he’s at practice he will act mad but don’t forget professional sports is ran by money not any records, or standings. As long as those seats are sold out can they really be mad?
10- Have fun. You’ll start to realize that things are beginning to go bad. Maybe you don’t play as much as you desire or maybe you can’t seem to make a shot or maybe your girl is driving you crazy. Don’t let it affect you going forward. You may seem to lose love for the game because the situation is just that bad. But remember why you fell in love with the game and remember where you want to get to. Gabe York a teammate of mine last year always talked about the NBA, and he never let anyone tell him otherwise. Now he’s with the Orlando Magic.
11- Don’t think about the summer until you’re on your flight home. It only makes the time longer and it can seriously hurt your play. Don’t forget “Time isn’t real”, its a system put into place to basically control us. Basically makes us work in a system thats design for most of us to fail. Focus on the next task every time. Whether its brushing your teeth, getting to that treatment appointment you scheduled a week ago or even calling your mother back. Focus on the next task not the previous or a month from now.
12- Don’t play for money, play for power. Okay woopdy doo you just signed a contract for 500,000 euros. Feels good right? Now you have to go prove you’re worth this money and a lot of players fall off afterwards. Play for power, you want to make an impact every time you step onto the floor. You want opposing coaches to fear you. You want them to watch hours and hours of film on you so they get confused on what really to do. This is what makes the big bucks and creates a legendary career like Ricky Paulding from Ewe Oldenburg. Money isn’t as important as you think. Power is what we truly desire.
Thank you for reading