Nico Brauner: The Life of a pro basketball player

The biggest difference between university basketball and the pros is the overall level of basketball IQ and intensity they play with. The players’ and coaches’ attention to detail is a lot higher. Making reads in pick & roll situations and knowing how to move without the ball is so important at this level. The defence is also a lot better. Making the right read and the right decision at the right time is way more important in the Pros. In the pros you play against men who are on average older than guys in college. Therefore, their bodies are fully developed and their over all athleticism is a lot better.  You can’t get away with being just a good athlete. In college it was way easier for me to get to the rim and finish a somewhat contested lay up. Now, I barely get the same lanes to the rim, and when I do the help is there. Now it becomes extremely important to make the right decision by either finding the open man or finishing in a way that’s a high percentage shot. At this level, coaches hate ill-advised shots.

Off the court, the biggest difference between college and the pro’s is the lifestyle. In college, you’re always around fellow students. There is always something going on, whether it’s a bar or movie night. The distractions are a lot more tempting in college. My day usually consists of two sessions a day. Weights or shooting in the morning and team practice in the evening. It’s a monotonous lifestyle. A lot of players dream about becoming a professional but don’t know that if it’s not the NBA or a prestigious international league, the lifestyle can be boring. Therefore, it’s even more important to occupy yourself with things to do.

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