The offseason is all about improving your game in search for an NBA contract for NBA G League players.
For Chasson Randle (New York Knicks), Will Sheehey (Last Season: Raptors 905), and Akil Mitchell (Last Season: Long Island Nets), learning off the court during the NBA’s Job Shadow Program will not only aid them after basketball, but also on the court right now.
“I realize that a lot of it is the same thing,” said Mitchell of his experience in the Job Shadow program, which is offered by the NBA’s Player Development department to present the various career opportunities that could be available in life after basketball. “The work ethic you need to be a successful pro, even a successful college player, is exactly the same skill set that’s necessary to work in it. If you’re never an athlete, you still shoot to be there first thing early in the morning, you still have work hard, you still have to communicate, you still have to work well as a team.”
The players got real hands-on experience with different companies and in the NBA’s league offices to see what could be in store for them after basketball.
Just this summer, Randle, who earned an NBA contract from the Knicks on Aug. 4, took it upon himself to become involved off the court. He held a free one-day summer camp back in his hometown of Rock Island, Illinois, where he and others from the area taught sixth through eighth graders basketball, along with life skills.
“We wanted to make sure that we were doing something to give back to the community,” said Randle. “I had members of my previous high school teams come out and help as well as some trainers in the area and then I had teachers as well from some schools in the area to come and teach some classroom sessions and teach kids about decision making.”
Sheehey, who also took part in the Job Shadow Program, has earned a contract in Portugal with FC Porto. He said he’s now working on his game, but he can use what he learned this summer on the court and in his basketball routine lifestyle.
“Most of us players from a very young age – all we do is play basketball and go to school all day long. We don’t understand the value of what goes into making a big production like the NBA work,” said Sheehey. “I’m just working on my game and just trying to play as long as I can.”
Randle said the Job Shadow Program and his summer camp were crucial for the path he’s going to take after he’s done playing basketball, but right now he wants to continue to develop and just like Sheehey, play as long as he can at a high level.
“I want to get better every single day,” said Randle. “It sounds cliché but that’s kind of my focus, just how can I improve every single day and continue to play as much as I can, whether it’s in the NBA or anywhere else. It’s the game I love and I put a lot of work and dedication into it.”