Pro Athlete 360 gets the inside scoop on the processes and steps needed to take to go from the college basketball level to the professional basketball level. There are many topics to discuss on this subject matter. In this interview, Pro Athlete 360 talks with Professional basketball player Maine Johnson, from Los Angeles, California. Johnson talks about transitioning from his college senior year to the professional tryouts and teams after his graduation. You Never know who is watching you when you play, and in Maine Johnson's case, you may be very surprised with how he got his pro career off the ground. It really is all about who you know, so network and work hard, and great things will happen for you. There will be much more on this subject matter but sit back and take in the life experiences of somebody who has been there and done that so that you can learn.
Basketball Video Transcription: When you start going towards the end of your high school career, once you reach that senior season, around there, you’re going to start getting phone calls, if you’re good enough. If you’re good enough and you’re on somebody’s radar, you’re going to start getting phone calls, you’re going to start getting letters. People are going to start sending you DVDs, these are all agents, agents are going to start sending you all sorts of things. Then you’re going to have people in your ear telling you, “look you need to sign with this agent, he’s going to have your best interest.” It’s a big decision you’ve got to make. When you get an agent, that affects your life, that affects your pro career, that affects how fast you’re going to get somewhere, the agency is a big, big, big decision on who you’re going to sign with. So I listened to somebody else and I got with a guy who didn’t have my best interests out there and then it kind of fell through for me, so I had to pick myself back up and come through with that.
If you’re good enough, somebody has seen you, and somebody sees you that knows somebody then you can make it professionally. As long as somebody has seen you that has some juice, a lot of the time, it’s who you know. And if you know somebody and you have the ability, and you can do one thing better than somebody else, if you can do ONE thing better than somebody else you can make it. I rebounded better than a lot of people, so the fact that I could do that better than a lot of people, that’s why I made it. And because I had this relentless work ethic, that’s why I said, “I’m going to do it, I don’t care what you all are talking about, I’m going to do it.” Once you do that, I had an agent who didn’t help me out. I became a professional because of a person I knew, but I actually got drafted to the NBA D-league in 2009, so I got drafted to the NBA D-league, the Reno Bighorns, and I was actually doing real good. Dale Harris, he used to be the coach of the Dallas Mavericks, came to practice and said, “you’re just an animal.” And he actually called Bobby Cremins and told him “that guy is a beast.”
So I really thought I was going to have a shot at the NBA if I had stayed with the NBA D-league. But we had so many players on my team that had already played in the NBA, they wanted to keep those guys, keep those NBA guys that were going to probably make it, you know get called back up to their NBA teams, so they told me “look we’re going to have to let you go.” Basically I was a rookie, I was basically the only rookie, so the ended up letting me go. Anyways, they ended up letting me go and I didn’t have a basketball playing job for about a month, so I was just working out, staying fit and one day I get a call because I had been playing pick up with some NBA guys the summer before that, I had been playing pick up with some guys, like James Harden and all these guys that were in the draft, Brandon Jennings, and DeMar DeRosen, I was playing pick up with these guys and Lil Romeo, I was playing pick up with these guys, and I’m just beasting these guys, Taylor King, I’m just destroying these guys, I’m just destroying them, and they kept asking me “where’d you go to school at? Where’d he go to school at? What are you doing? Are you in the draft too?” and I told them “no I still have one more year of college to go.” They kept telling me, “you’re NICE,” and I said, “ thanks, you know I appreciate that, thank you thank you thank you.” And because of what I did there, that’s actually how I got to my professional career, that’s how my professional career started, just playing pick up with some guys, then I got a phone call to go play professionally in Mexico, and after that it just took off from there. And because I did so well, I averaged 20 pts and 10 rebs, then I got offered to play in some summer leagues in Mexico, and then there I was averaging 35 pts and 12 rebounds, and then I had a few 50 point games. And then that next season I was averaging 20 pts and 8 rebs. And then after that I got a call from Portugal over in Europe and asked “hey do you want to come out here and play?” so I went out there and played and I’ve been averaging 15 pts and 10 rebs over there.
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