By: Michael Jenkins / @mjjenk

Today I had what has come to be a frequent conversation with guys I know that are still hooping in college. It usually consists of two main questions from them:

1. “How do you like it overseas?” and of course…

2. “Is it hard to make it over there?”

First, I tell them I’m enjoying myself. There is nothing like being able to make a living doing what you love while seeing the world too. But as I sit and try to explain what they need to do to make it, I find myself just giving them general advice. It makes me realize that I really can’t pinpoint a few specific things that could guarantee them the opportunity to make a living playing basketball.

Michael Jenkins’ Season Averages while at Winthrop University
2004-2005 WIN 12.3 3.0 1.3 .8 .8 1.08 .6 .2 1.3 .264 .789 .228 .80
2005-2006 WIN 14.7 5.8 1.8 .8 1.0 .84 .7 .1 1.1 .352 .743 .323 1.03
2006-2007 WIN 30.2 14.8 3.8 3.2 2.1 1.55 1.3 .4 1.9 .459 .702 .415 1.27
2007-2008 WIN 31.9 13.9 4.1 2.5 1.9 1.35 1.1 .4 2.3 .416 .713 .368 1.19
(courtesy of

From my experience, and those of some guys I know, simply being a leading scorer for your team or conference won’t guarantee it. How many conference championships you win won’t guarantee it. And whatever other awards and accolades you have from your college career won’t guarantee it either.

So it made me really go into a deep thought and ask myself: what does it really take? I’ve been trying to figure out which characteristics in players the majority of the coaches over here really go for and want for their team. All I could come up with is this: there are no definite characteristics.

I’ve seen the guy with barely a college career at all get a job over here, and I’ve also seen the guy that had a nice college career not get a job. To me, I feel it’s really just how well your agent can sell you to these clubs to get your career started, and after that it’s up to you to build your reputation and keep your career on the rise.

Realizing I do not have any perfect answers, I will just continue to tell them, “Work hard, put up decent-to-great numbers, collect good film, and sign with an agent/agency you feel most comfortable with.”

But remember…there are no guarantees!

Follow Michael’s and other ELA bloggers’ adventures in our Player Blogs section or on Twitter @mjjenk.