Picture a 22-year-old U.S. player. He’s fresh out of school and goes undrafted despite a productive run with his college team. He looks at his options and decides that what he should do right now is head overseas, to Europe so that he begins playing professional basketball.
It’s literally a trip into the complete unknown for this young baller. A dive into some uncharted and potentially not-so-friendly waters that he must successfully navigate himself through during the first steps of his career if he wants to make it as a pro.
Before he established himself as an elite guard in Europe and began winning all sorts of titles and collecting big MVP awards in every single major continental championship, Tyrese Rice was exactly in that position. And this is what his own experience taught him.
“The first thing that I’m telling younger guys now about going to Europe is to learn about the culture,” Rice told Eurohoops in a live video interview. “Learn about where you are first. If you learn about the person and the people it’s easier for you to do the things that you want to do. When go to these countries, you have to learn about the people. I was in Greece first and I didn’t understand anything. Now, I look back at it and I realize that I learned about the Greek culture and know about the Greek guys and understand how they think about things, it makes it easier for me to play basketball.”