Can you try out for the NBA?

This is a fact that majority of the basketball fans know how to play the game and some of them are even brilliant at it. During the game a lot of you might have even thought that what if I was on that court as a basketball player too?

Well let me give you guys some good news. You definitely can try out for the NBA league, pursue your career as an athlete and even become one of those star players. However, as it is expected, there are a lot of requirements to fulfill before you make it to the league, just as any other career has.

You need to be pretty good at the game and dribbling and bouncing the ball should be child’s play for you. Another thing is that the game requires a lot of dedication and hard work.

But if you are unsure about how to take the first steps towards a basketball player’s biggest dream, then this is the place for you. Let’s get to know about it.

How to apply for the NBA?

The NBA having a big name in basketball never hires rookie players in its respective teams. It firstly trains aspiring and growing basketball athletes in its developmental mini league that is the G League. The different teams of the G league are given certain dates in which they hold their trials in arenas or some basketball courts where they check out the skills of candidates and select the best ones for their teams.

As per told by former registered candidates of the G league, firstly everyone is gathered in the basketball court and the coach, as well as the staff is introduced. After that, each player is checked on the basic skill individually and is asked to perform a couple of drills. Shortly after this the coach divides the candidates in teams and everyone is tested together. This game lasts more or less approximately for 15-20 minutes.

Another thing which may give all the candidates a disadvantage is that a total of 100 candidates are tested together which may not give you much time to show your potential therefore it is really important to show off your skills in the trial so that you can have an edge as compared to the others.

Are the trials open for everyone?

The trials are definitely not for everyone as the league has provided a list of eligibility criteria to those wanting to make basketball their career. It is really important to fulfill that eligibility criterion in order to play for the league.

The list of the requirements is as follows:

  1. The candidate must have completed four years of college or if you are a college drop out, 4 years should have passed since your high school days.
  2. You should have a link with basketball in your past life and must know the basics of the game.
  3. For international candidates, the individuals should be at least 22 years of age and should have played for any international team apart from those of the NBA, but within the United States.

For professional international players the requirements are a bit different which are:

  1. The individuals must have resided abroad for at least 3 years.
  2. They should not have studied from any college or school in the USA.

The league also spreads its boundaries in order to give chances to college students, currently studying.

These players should mainly be part of their college basketball team. If these players show up for the trials and happen to be good enough for the game, they drop out of college and play in the league through a short termed contract commonly called “one and done” which is actually like an internship in which the player actually learns from the experience and has to leave the team within a year. This contract acts as a plus point for the player and at the end of season, he directly gets qualified for the draft without going through the whole procedure unlike any other player. However, the age of the individuals who get qualified for this opportunity must be of 19 years or above.

What is the cost for the tryouts?

The price for the tryouts is quite high just because spots in the NBA are sought after by the citizens of the country (for obvious reasons) and many people seek to try out for the league. The trial may cost up to $200 however, this is not a fixed price and it may vary according to the cities that the trials are held in.

When the candidates pay on the spot of the trial, the price may increase up to $100 more. The system is a bit unfair too as not all the candidates get to try out for the G league. There is a policy of first come first serve and sometimes the coaches even don’t allow more than 100 people to try out.

This is why it is better to try out in the national G league trial session because over there, there is no restriction with respect to the number of individuals trying out and another advantage is that all of the team coaches are present in that tryout session so the chances of you being noticed are much higher.

How to stand out in the trials?

It is really mandatory for the individuals in the tryouts to show off their skills and to show the coaches that they have the potential of a basketball player in them. For that, they need to stand out from the crowd in order to get noticed.

First and the most important thing is to show off the move you are good at. If you are good at dodging, dribbling, rebounding or shooting the ball, don’t miss the opportunity to do so. You have to put forth your best in order to get noticed by the coaches.

Secondly, you should always be present in front of the coach and try to be directly in front of him and stand tall as well. This tip is really important for the coach to know that you have the confidence that every other player should have.

You should also be able to communicate with the team members well and also give them directions to show your qualities as a leader and a sportsman, all at the same time. This step is quite important for the coaches to know that you are the one they were looking for all the time.

However, it is not necessary that even after you try your best at everything, you will get noticed. Just keep working on making progress and polishing yourself.

How are the players drafted?

Every year, after the end of the NBA seasons, an event of the draft lottery is held by the league in which they select drafts or new players for their respective teams. The drafts are usually the G league players who have enough potential to get in the major league, the NBA itself.

The NBA selects 14 teams to take part in the drafts. These 14 teams include those franchises which were not able to get into the playoffs. The worst team is given the most advantage over here and they get the highest number of picks for itself. After the respective teams choose the draft players, the coaches, trainers and other NBA staff take the responsibility to train and groom the new players and teach them the norms of the professional game. The draft players are even weighed, their heights are checked and many other tests are also done to check on their specialty.

After this session, another draft is made with 60 players in total (30 from each draft) and each team gets the draft players accordingly. The first picks are made by the teams having the worst score and the best team gets to select the draft players in the end.

On the other hand, it also depends on the draft players themselves whether they want to show up for the basketball drills or not. Many times, it has been seen that the top draft players do not attend the draft pickup session just like in 2018 Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum who were the top drafts then did not attend the basketball drills.


Each year the NBA G league holds tryout sessions in which numerous people take part and everyone over there has the same dream which is to become a professional basketball player. However, not all of them get noticed in the crowd and some even do not pass the eligibility criteria. Only the top and the best players get selected because of their hard work and dedication and manage to finally become stars of the game and win the hearts of the fans.

For all the people out there, who work hard enough and still not get noticed in the tryouts, it is okay. Do not lose hope and keep showing up at the tryouts because in the end you will make it. The best player reacts positively in every situation and in the end finds his way to the solution. It is alright if you do not get in the G league this season, better luck next time!