Mission accomplished. You negotiated your deal, signed your contract, and are ready for a season that’s gonna be HUGE! But wait one hot second!! There’s still a few things you’ll need to do before you can board the plane and join your team.
The following items are required immediately after signing most international basketball contracts. Even the best agent in the world will need your cooperation for you to get some of these things. We suggest you get head start by having them in hand before you even sign your deal or at the very least, be ready to get these things back to the team immediately after you sign.
1. PASSPORT PHOTO ID PAGE
If you already signed your contract, then you most likely shared your passport number with the team. Your passport number is always required to get a valid contract in place. Most times the team will ask you to send a copy of your passport. The easiest way to do it is to take a photo of the Photo ID page, that’s the page with your picture and passport number on it. If you got that saved in your phone, then great! It is recommended that you always have a copy of that page with you when traveling abroad. Carry it with you on a daily basis. A photo copy is great, but if nothing else, keep that copy on your phone at all times.
2. CLOSEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
One of the first things the team will ask for immediately after you’ve signed the contract is the name of the airport you will be flying out of. Sometimes, they will ask this question well before you sign. What they’re trying to do is assess the cost they will need to pay for getting your round-trip plane tickets. So if you what them to add a few dollars to the deal, then be smart about the airport you ask to be flown out of. Be sure it’s an international one with plenty of traffic, so the flight doesn’t cost the team an arm and a ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ leg.
This may be a no-brainer, but when you tell them your airport, make sure it is the same airport that you are planning to be returning to during the holiday break. Like if you are visiting your Aunt Marlyn in Florida when you sign your contract, be sure you not to say Miami, but tell them Philly is your airport if that’s really the place you call home.
3. LETTER OF GOOD STANDING FROM LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT
Why you need it.
When you sign to play in another country, the team’s local government may require them to get letter of good standing (or letter of good conduct) from their foreign employee’s (you) local police department. That’s the police department in the place your hometown or current place of residence.
Don’t be alarmed if you have some stuff in your background, they are just trying to make sure you aren’t on the wanted list. This the team’s way of attempting to prevent felons that are fleeing another country from acquiring asylum in their country without their knowledge. Another reason is that it’s one of the ways in which a team or country attempts to determine if you have been a productive and law abiding member of society before they allow you to work and reside in their country.
How you get it.
You can generally request a letter of good standing in writing at your local police department. Some departments have special request forms that you must fill out first, and you will be required to provide proof of your identity. So take some form of ID and something proving that you live in the city, like a phone bill with your address on it. The cost varies by department but expect to pay anywhere from $5 – $25.
It is also suggested that you be very nice to the people that help you with getting this letter. It won’t be the most common document that they produce each day and sometimes they may have never hear of it. Print out the sample below and take it with you, and be patient and persistent that they are the department that can type it up and get it done. You are not asking for a statewide background check, just a letter saying that you don’t have outstanding warrants where you live.
Since you plan of playing for a very long time and may want to avoid the fee in the future, be sure to send an autographed player card or take a team souvenir from the place that you just played when you return to get the document again. The people in the office will love you for it, and you will have friends at the police station for years and years to come.
Sample letter of good standing:
Here’s some more info: http://www.ehow.com/facts_6053157_letter-good-standing-police-department_.html
4. DOCTOR’S LETTER OF GOOD HEALTH
Before a team wants to commit to paying you cash, they want to confirm that you are healthy and ready to play. Many times players are requested to secure a letter of good health from a doctor.
So the process is simple. First the designated doctor will conduct a general health check. This is the same doctor who would write the corresponding letter from the health center in which the health check was done.
In the lines below, you will find some examples of this type of letter. Just to be clear, Donald Trump’s is a little extreme. You don’t need a doctor to say you will be the most fit basketball player to ever walk the planet or say that you never used alcohol products in your life, but take a look at them and you will get the point.
If you have health care insurance or are under your parent’s plan, then a physical should be something you can get for free. Call your insurance provider to find out.
Donald Trump’s Letter of Good Health: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/images/uploads/trump_health_record.pdf
Another sample. consider printing this one out before you visit the office: http://www.fastaff.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/physicians_statement_0.pdf
5. GET WHATSAPP
Advances in technology have made living and playing abroad super easy, and every year it gets better. Exploding onto the scene in 2016 is SlingTV. For $20 a month, you can enjoy a number of US TV channels and thousands of streaming TV apps and movies straight from your PC, laptop, mobile phone and tablet.
But the most important app for any international traveler is WhatsApp. If you’ve been traveling for awhile then you know that well before Facebook bought WhatsApp for 19 Billion, it was the App of choice for free international mobile communications. With WhatsApp you can call, chat, send voice messages, images, and docs right from your phone. All you need is an internet connection. Download https://www.whatsapp.com/download/
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