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The Greatest Lesson I've Learned
With a new scouting cycle fast approaching, our own Nathan Grubel shares the greatest lesson he's learned as crucial advice for anyone looking to work in basketball.
Basketball is life.
We see that sentence uttered all across social media, advertisements, and interviews; we’ve even heard it come from our own mouths.
But what does it mean?
To me, that sentence means everything.
My writing this week isn’t a cut and paste of the story I’ve already told, which is why I’m with No Ceilings and interested in furthering my career in the game of basketball. That piece can be found here if you’re interested in reading it.
This week, I want to examine the greatest lesson I’ve learned in creating content and scouting basketball prospects, which can hopefully serve as the best advice I can give anyone looking to do the same.
I’ve gotten asked before if there’s one piece of advice I could share with someone who is looking to make a career out of basketball or find their way in the sport’s media landscape, what would it be?
To be clear, any answer I could give is imperfect because despite some of the success I’ve had in branding Draft Deeper and contributing toward what I feel is the best basketball start-up on the planet in No Ceilings, I’m far from my professional goals in life.
I’m not currently a full-time employee in the game. I work a day job for a company called Turn5, specializing in Finance and Product Management.
How could I possibly be qualified to share anything helpful for someone else looking to further their career in an entirely different industry?
Because I never stopped working and believing.
And THAT is the greatest piece of advice I could give anyone trying to get to the same place I, as well as all of us at No Ceilings, are trying to reach.
One of the best things you can do is start your own platform. Fire up that social media account, create that website, grow that podcast, and upload frequently to that YouTube channel.
Building a career in basketball is all about networking, for sure. Getting your name out there is crucial in finding that foot-in-the-door opportunity to learn and grow. Creating content, sharing your thoughts and observations, and publishing your work on a consistent basis are excellent ways to build a brand and start interacting with those who can help point you in the right direction.
Consistency has helped me the most, as it’s built the foundation of habits that keep me engaged and moving forward as a scout.
And discipline in basketball is a wonderful thing. Finding the next great prospect is more than watching some tape on the top freshmen recruits in the country or the obvious standouts.
Going through team rosters before the season starts, digging deep into returning players and possible sleepers, and building a database that goes far beyond the ESPN Top 100 is something that has helped me stay on top of who could actually pop up as a player of note to watch for the upcoming NBA Draft.
Crafting that database and making sure to watch and study each player gives one an incredible edge.
But in order to engage in such an act, one has to be motivated to put in the hours to realize such hard work.
And THAT is why it’s important to NEVER GIVE UP!
There will be days when you start down this path of getting your name out there, sharing your opinions, and creating content you feel is the best you’ve done yet, and it all feels hollow. The motivation can come into question, and you feel lost on your path.
I’ve seen plenty of my peers on social media lately question why their opinion matters over anyone else’s. To which I would reply: correct. There is no right or wrong. Basketball evaluation outside of statistical reference is subjective. I could see and report on something entirely different than what someone else sees. This doesn’t make me objectively correct or incorrect; rather, it is my subjective opinion on the subject matter.
And saying something that someone else has already said can be deflating. Seeing someone else post about the success they’re having, or the opportunities they’ve been gifted, is never an easy pill to swallow if you aren’t seeing that same success in your personal endeavors.
But that is NOT why we do what we do here at No Ceilings!
Basketball is far more than the clout that comes with it. BASKETBALL IS LIFE.
I’ve fallen in love with the game, deeply. That love keeps me going when I feel the workload weighing over me as I try to balance everything in life.
When I’m unsure if I’m bringing something new to the table, or something that’s insightful and inventive, I come back to WHY I’m here.
I don’t record Draft Deeper for clicks. We at No Ceilings don’t write and create videos because it’s all or nothing when it comes to a potential paycheck.
We love and appreciate the game for what it is, and we are eager to find the next great NBA star no matter what gets in our way! I can speak for all of us when I say our love runs deep for basketball. We stay up late at night doing film studies and taking notes, spend countless hours preparing for and recording podcasts and videos, and take pride in the detailed pieces published on the No Ceilings Substack.
So what if what you’re sharing isn’t changing the sport? Sharing ideas and having conversations about your thoughts and observations help introduce new viewpoints and further your understanding of the game.
Conversations matter in every aspect of life. They help us learn and grow. Passion comes from the motivation to get better, the hunger to march down a new path to discover something you didn’t know or understand the day before. Truly loving basketball helps propel oneself upward and onward to new heights, and getting better should be the focus rather than just standing out amongst one’s peers.
If not for the love of the game, I may have given up on my journey already.
Working in basketball is still my dream, but dreams can die without passion.
Cultivate that intimacy with the game, and I promise you won’t regret ONE DAY of your scouting and basketball journey. You won’t care how many views so and so’s videos or podcasts got. You won’t feel bad about where you are from a career perspective.
There are plenty of scouting tips I could offer to those who thought that’s where I was going here. And I’ll share over the coming weeks some tips on what I’m looking for in different positional groups as we fast approach the next scouting period. But nothing in my life matters more to me than standing by my personal convictions and appreciation for the things and people I love.
Therefore, anyone reading this, PLEASE don’t give up on your dreams. I encourage everyone to follow their passion and thrive in the space that’s meant for them. Basketball is big enough for all of us to share, grow, and enjoy.
So that, my friends, is the greatest advice I could ever give: FALL IN LOVE WITH THE GAME!
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