As every year, on the sidelines of the EuroLeague Final Four, EuroLeague Players’ Association spend time with U-18 players, who participated to the Adidas Next Generation Tournament.
Three-time EuroLeague top-scorer Igor Rakocevic joined the talk in order to share his experiences as professional player and give sound advice to young athletes. Bostjan Nachbar, Managing Director of ELPA and also a former professional player himself, was also part of the discussion.
“It is a big pleasure for me to have the opportunity to talk to the next generation of players. I know how much it meant to me to learn from older players when I was in their shoes. It is important that these young men understand all the risks and challenges that come with being a pro. I hope they took away some of the advice we shared with them and I wish them all the best in their careers” , Igor Rakocevic said.
The topics discussed focused on the jump from youth to professional level. Importance of understanding contracts, preserving health, challenges on handling financial part of the professional life and relations with media are some of those topics that young players need to become aware about.
“What we try to do is bridge the gap between different generations of players. The young generation of players need to learn from experiences, mistakes and decisions made by players who have seen it all. At ELPA we are happy that we can provide that to the stars of tomorrow”, Bostjan Nachbar added.
Besides the experience of competing at the ANGT tournament itself, the aim of this annual meeting is to educate and provide young players with useful guidelines for their transition towards a professional career, while having the opportunity to talk to and ask questions directly to representatives of the older generation of players.
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