Travis Jocelyn, a 2017 graduate of Verona High School who was part of his state championship basketball team, has signed on to play professional basketball in Germany.
Jocelyne, who had a strong college basketball career at TCNJ, joined Niners Chemnitz, a team from southeastern Germany that is part of Germany’s premier league, the Basketball Bundesliga, also known as the easyCredit Bundesliga after its sponsor. The Niners made the announcement on their website today:
“[Jocelyn] comes from the small town of Verona, New Jersey, a short walk from New York, and has been playing basketball for the College of New Jersey in NCAA-3 for four years. There, Jocelyn was able to continuously improve from season to season and average 21 points, seven rebounds as well as 1.5 assists and steals in the final 2020/21 season, which was significantly shortened. due to the coronavirus.
The opportunity to join the Niners presented itself quickly. While Jocelyn graduated from TCNJ, he signed with players agent Christopher Gulla, founder of the New Jersey-based company. ACD Agency. Gulla established Jocelyn’s player profile and contacted the teams. Jocelyn says that while this awareness sparked the interest of teams from Portugal, Croatia and Czech Republic, he was mostly drawn to Niners Chemnitz’s high level of play and his diversity.
“I wanted to play abroad because it was the best opportunity for me to realize my dream of playing professional basketball,” says Jocelyn. “Besides playing basketball, I can live in another country and see the world. It is a once in a lifetime experience that I could not refuse.
Niner’s press release makes it look like Jocelyn will see a lot of action when the season opens on October 2. While he had originally planned to use it in the second team of the squad with rotations in the first team, injuries in his first team could open. more opportunities there.
Chemnitz is located in what was once East Germany and the city was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt during Communist times. “The coaches are a mix of different nationalities, Argentinian, Italian, American and German,” says Jocelyn, who has already moved abroad. “The German players will speak to me in English but sometimes will speak German among themselves. I don’t speak German, but maybe the team could organize a German course for me, which I would certainly use to learn a new language and help me adjust to life in Germany.
While many high school basketball players focus on college and professional opportunities in the United States, basketball is a global sport with global recruitment. According to the 2020 report of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), 1,733 Americans play basketball abroad, most of them in Europe. FIBA claim Spain was the top destination for US players, with 153, while 136 Americans play in Germany. And while overseas basketball salaries aren’t as high as the NBA’s, there are other perks. Jocelyn notes that, while in Germany, the only expense he will have is food.
“What’s important for anyone chasing a dream to know is that sometimes it looks a little different than what you initially imagined, but sometimes it ends up being more than you imagined,” Jocelyn says. “I am fulfilling my dream of playing professionally, but I also have this unique opportunity to travel and meet people from so many different places and experiences.”
“I am very lucky to be able to travel the world and earn money playing a sport that I love,” adds Jocelyn. “The most important things for me are to focus on basketball but also to immerse myself in the culture. I have such a great opportunity in front of me and I don’t want to turn away from it just because I need to adjust to a different culture. I want to embrace this change as much as possible.