How to Become a Basketball Scout

Are you a basketball junkie? Do you love to watch basketball at any level? When you watch a basketball game do you find yourself keying in on particular players and seeing their specific basketball abilities? I love to watch a basketball game where I am not familiar with the teams or any of the players. It is kind of fun to see if you can pick out each players’ role on the team.

If you do enjoy watching basketball at any level and you have an eye for talent, you may want to consider becoming a basketball scout. Becoming a basketball scout could be your dream job. You will get to watch all kinds of basketball and discover the newest up and coming talent. Who knows, it could lead to higher up executive jobs in basketball.

So, what is a basketball scout? And how does someone become one? Let’s take a look at what a basketball scout is, the benefits and drawbacks and what a person needs to do to get started in this type of career.

What is a Basketball Scout?

A basketball scout is usually a person who looks for and evaluates young and talented players and may try to persuade them to play for the particular team they are working for. They also will need to persuade the team they are working for that the player they have found will be a good fit for their organization.

Another type of scout may be someone who watches and evaluates another team in preparation for playing a game against them. This type of scout would try to find information on how the other team plays in order to help their team beat the other team.

Benefits of Scouting

If you love to watch basketball, this could be the perfect career for you because you will get to watch plenty of it. It will be your job to watch games, evaluates players or teams, take notes and give your professional opinion to the team you work for.

If you like to travel, you will most likely get to do a lot of it. You will be going to lots of tournaments and schools all across the country and, in some cases, the world. You will also get to talk to and interact with many different people, including coaches, players, parents and more. So if you are a social person that enjoys traveling and talking to people, you will probably enjoy this type of job.

Drawbacks to Scouting

If you don’t like to travel or socialize, this may not be the career for you. You will also be working lots of late nights and weekends since that is when games are usually played. While it can be great for some who do not like working an average 9 to 5 job, you may have to spend a fair amount of time away from your family and friends.

Steps to Become a Basketball Scout

Like most careers, you won’t be able to just jump into the scouting arena. There are some qualities and skills you need to have to be a good scout and there are some steps that you will need to take in order to get started in this field.

What you will need

  • Love the game of basketball
  • Good basketball knowledge
  • A natural ability to spot talent and leadership
  • Good communication skills
  • Marketing and sales skills
  • Ability to be flexible and adapt to changes in the game

1. Learn the game

You will need to know the game of basketball very well and understand more than just the basics. You will also need to know the game from more than just a fan’s point of view. Learn all aspects of the game from rules, playing, coaching, history and more. You should know the game inside and out.

2. Get an education

While a degree is not necessarily required, it will help to open doors and get you started. Just about any degree can help, but if you are planning to get one for this purpose, you might want to look at physical education, sports sciences, business, marketing or those types of degrees.

There are other training and learning programs available that are not traditional college programs and those can also help get you started. The main thing is that you have some tools to help give you some of the skills and abilities listed above.

3. Get experience

Get experience anywhere you can. Whether it is volunteering to help a coach or a team, or taking an entry-level position to get your foot in the door. The idea is to work with anyone you can who is involved in basketball even if it is taking a job as a team equipment manager.

Volunteering and taking entry-level jobs not only give you experience from the ground up, it is where you start making contacts and networking with important people in the business.

4. Watch games and footage

As a scout, this will be one of your main activities. You should start watching as many basketball games as you can, at all different levels. Watch them in person, and on video. Try to figure out what makes certain players stand out and how they fit in with their particular team. How will they fit into certain offenses and defenses that you have learned about?

Ask questions and take notes. If you are watching a game in person, don’t be afraid to ask the fans who regularly attend the games, questions about players on the team. If there are coaches or players available, don’t be afraid to talk to them after the game and see what you can find out. Then find a way to efficiently record and organize your notes.

5. Networking

Try to make as many contacts as you can. A lot of scouting is who you know and the relationships you have with those contacts. Try to never burn bridges with the people you meet and work with. You never know when you might capitalize on an opportunity from a contact you made years prior.

6. Always continue learning

This is something that applies to life in general. You should never stop trying to learn. It is very important in basketball scouting because the game of basketball is constantly changing. The coaching, the players, the style of play are all evolving. If you do not keep up with the changes you will never be able to spot the talent that will match the team you are scouting for.

It is important to keep up with the game by reading books on basketball, watching videos, talking to coaches, players and staff and anything else that you can find. Be open to new techniques and ideas. Even if you don’t agree with them, you need to know the direction in which the game is heading. If you don’t, it will quickly pass you by.

Final Words

If you love basketball, a basketball scouting job could be the job you have always been looking for. Getting paid to watch basketball and give your opinions on players and teams could be the career for you. If you begin to excel at it and people in the business begin to respect your word on players, you never know how far you can go.

Do you think you would make a good basketball scout? We’d love to hear from you, so please leave your comments.

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  • Osadonor Esene

    I played basketball all through high school and college and professionally in Germany for several years. After playing I started coaching basketball, which I done on multiple levels high school, Juco, and NCAA Division II. I am currently coaching high school basketball in Portland,OR. How can I work towards being a NBA scout?

  • Chris Kelley

    Basketball is my first love and I want to invest my time into basketball scouting.
    How do I get started?

  • Albert Harris

    Basketball has been not only a hobby it is the way of life ive could have taken the wrong road in life basketball truly saves lives. Ive played the game 20+ years extremely high IQ, patience. Ive been doin my own scouting process from watching youtube, ball is life, overtime etc, for the last 6 years. Its just really fun to watch these kids go crazy. For instance DIOR Johnson, JD davidson, Emoni bates Are next up superstar

  • Quinton Perry


    My name is Quinton Perry. I am a Semi Pro Basketball Coach in the United Basketball League(UBL) I recently had brain surgery June of 2020 and that has set me back. Now I’m more hungry than ever to become a Professional NBA Scout. I love the game of basketball and I really would like to become a Professional Scout for the NBA. That is one of my biggest goals I have set for myself. I’m looking for an opportunity to do so. Feel free to contact me at (972)249-7386. Thank you.

  • Tedrian

    I think I would be great as I scout I played basketball my entire life. I believe I have a natural eye for spotting talent. I love to watch basketball and travel. I believe this would be great career for me

  • Joseph Zablan

    I truly believe that I can identify the skills Of a young basketball player… first of all my experience of basketball in my life as I’ve been around in my whole life played it in school junior high school and high school as well but then we got to play in college but just to give you an example of basketball players that I predict that would be great in the NBA or lease be a decent player in the league is a good example is LaMelo Ball in another great example is when I first saw Jerry West showing a clips of Of Kobe Bryant I just knew that Kobe Bryant would be the next big thing in league and 110% correct

  • Daniel Nienberg

    Do you have any options for entry level scouting positions? I have been playing, coaching, and training basketball players and athletes for 25 years. I love the game and love the little nuances that each individual player has which makes them unique. Any opportunities are welcome. Thank you for your time!

  • Joseph Stanley

    Love the game, coached the game, and played the game against Derrick Coleman and Steve Smith got crushed. Gradute from Western Mich. Univ., single no drugs and alcohol. High on life

  • sherman Demetri McNeil

    I love the game of basketball on all levels. I always wanted to have a career in the sport of basketball. I dreamed that one day I will become a sports agent or scout.

  • Michael Kimmel

    I would make a great scout bought league pass every year since 2012 I know the current league as well as just basketball in general I play high end pickup with college players more importantly I know statistics and what makes a good player and what to look for what wins and I give good thorough assessments on every player conditioning skill and otherwise what would be a good way to get a start in scouting schooling and otherwise?

  • dekerriya daniel

    do you have to be a basketball coach to become a basketball scout!? what would you study in college to become a basketball scout? if you can’t jump right into scouting what do you have to start with what job would you have to do to become a scout?