Rob Yanders: Playing professionally overseas

The Basketball Movement's founder, Rob Yanders dishes on his experience playing professional ball in Europe.

Rob Yanders' local impact through The Basketball Movement has been immense. He cherishes this community and is here to give back and enhance it through the sport he loves. Rob's time in Springfield and West Plains was a big part of his career, but his professional experience led him to a much different place.

For some of us, it is easy to forget that there is more to basketball than what we see in high school, the NCAA, and NBA. There are basketball teams all over the world; many are at the professional level.

The Movement is very unique in that it offers Euro Preparation to players that are looking to break into the pro scene. Rob's experience is an amazing resource for any American player considering playing basketball abroad.

I (@WilHarrington) sat down with Robert at The Basketball Movement to talk about his time in Europe.

Rob's experience playing overseas

After college, Rob Yanders headed to Sheffield, England to begin his rookie year of pro ball. He said that it was certainly a culture shock, but the team won the British Championship, easing his transition. "When you're successful and winning, everything is great." He credits the people he met and his teammate for helping to make it a great experience.

My experience in Europe helped mold me into the person I am today - my experiences getting away and getting cultured through these different walks of life. Sheffield, France, Scotland, Treviso, Norway, Zurich, Germany, Israel - because of basketball. Because of that round, orange thing, I’ve been to some amazing places.

In his pro career, he went on to win three European Championships, two regular season Championships, a National Cup, and Finals MVP. In France, Rob was also voted team MVP with both VCB and KABCA teams and earned All-Star Team honors in 2012. His time as a pro in Europe was certainly a success.

How Rob applies what he learned to The Basketball Movement

As a pro, Robert told me that you are always thinking about what comes next. Players are rarely guaranteed a safety net in their brief careers. When Rob thought about what he wanted to do, he leaned on what made him happy: basketball.

Enjoying and being around the sport of basketball does not have to end when playing days are over. Robert was a Community Recreation major in college and knew that he wanted to build or run a sports facility.

I grew up in Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCA’s. Those were places that gave me shelter to play the game and keep me safe from the streets.

He talked about the alone time you experience playing in a foreign country and the amount of time it allowed him to reflect on the future. He also got to participate in many camps, clinics, speaking opportunities, and mentorships. His leadership grew even more and allowed him to confidently assume his role within The Movement as founder and owner.

Advice for players considering college or the pro game

The advice that Robert shared on this topic centered around personal circumstances - situations vary greatly from player to player.

Do what’s best for your family. Invest in you and invest in your family - your time is valuable. Make sure you get the right council and information.

Rob also warned that the pro game will be a stark contrast for any players that are talented enough to play professionally straight out of high school. Playing with grown men that are playing for paychecks is a whole new world.

If the opportunity for a "one-and-done" type of player to play professionally presented itself, and they needed money, he may recommend going if the player is confident in professional ball as a career. For most though, an education is always a great idea. It will pay off more than fizzling out after a few pro seasons.

As Rob mentioned, receiving the right council and information is very important when considering playing in Europe or anywhere else. Coach Rob, Coach Anthony Shavies, and more can help players with this preparation right here at The Basketball Movement.

If you are interested in any capacity in playing overseas, please contact us and let us help you navigate the intimidating options that follow.