April 8, 2015

Jonathan Rego becomes India's first FIBA agent

Basketball is becoming more and more an international sport, not just in terms of the spread of the game to different countries, but also in the manner of how there are no borders anymore for basketball professionals on the globe. As opportunities grow, players from across the world are crossing international boundaries to ship their talents to leagues in the Americas, Africa, Europe, Oceania, and of course, Asia, too. But global basketball transactions are a complicated process, and FIBA - the world's governing body of basketball - have employed the use of player's agents to handle the business of the game between players, teams, leagues, and nations.

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Rego became the first Indian to be certified as a FIBA agent, after passing the necessary qualifications at the FIBA House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland.

Originally from Mangalore and raised in Abu Dhabi, Rego (32) now works in Mumbai as the senior manager of operations of the ISL's Mumbai City FC. He is also working on a few sports exchange programmes with international universities, where he says he is starting with a basketball programme to test the waters before moving on to other sports. Additionally, he is looking to put together a team with the hopes of managing a franchise in the future Indian professional basketball league.

Rego previously worked for CAA KWAN and GLOBOSPORT. During this time, he managed and executed nearly every NBA India event 2008-2013, working at both grassroots and mainstream events across the country. Rego also covered the NBA All Star Weekend for NBA India in Houston in 2013.

"I hope to give Indian basketball players the opportunity to make a living playing professionally," Rego said after receiving his FIBA agent credential, "Thus, encouraging parents to allow and encourage their kids to pursue basketball seriously, leading to the proliferation of basketball in India, and eventually making it a global basketball superpower."

India doesn't have its own professional league yet, but we definitely have a number of talented players who deserve to play at the professional level. Playing abroad may be the only option for many at this point, and it will only be with the help of FIBA agents like Rego that our best players can wade through the complicated process of finding teams and conducting transactions to make that option into a reality. Hopefully, as basketball talent grows to make India a stronger hoop-playing nation, the business side of the game continues to evolve and mature as well to provide a backbone that helps the players succeed at the highest levels.

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