Sure, BiE’ll help out a longtime player, if only for his awesome and audacious marketing skills. An email arrived in the BallinEurope inbox entitled simply “The Best Unsigned Basketball Player Alive: Dre Baldwin” (has Allen Iverson heard about this?) and included quite a nice résumé compiled over seven years.
After college stints at Division II schools Penn State Abington and Altoona University, “Dre All Day” got his first professional gig in Kaunas, Lithuania; he’s since gone on to log minutes in Guadalajara, Mexico; Herceg Novi, Montenegro; and Stuttgart, Germany, among other locations plus enjoyed a turn with the Harlem Ambassadors international barnstorming club.
And when Baldwin hasn’t been plying his trade in some far-flung locale, he’s creating workout programs for youth ballers; his YouTube account featuring his tip-touting videos has over 30,000 subscribers and has run up over 17 million views in 5½ years. He’s also got a pair of websites running, WorkOnYourGame.net and HoopHandbook.com, to this end in addition to his personal ‘site.
The problem? As Dre puts it, “Despite my growing brand and certified skills on the court, I still have not been able to stay consistently employed by professional basketball clubs, though I very much want to be.”
Baldwin is currently signed with no club; he attempted to get with the NBA D-League’s Sioux Falls Sky Force this autumn, with results that he discusses below.
Okay, so here’s his fuller description of what ultimately went down, via Facebook post:“The D-League Draft is on Friday; I’ve already been informed that the Sioux Falls Sky Force won’t be bringing me to Training Camp.
“I am looking into getting myself into the D-League player pool, from which all players are eligible to join teams as free agents, invites, etc. (you do not just sign outright to a team in the D-League; you must be in the ‘player pool’ to play for any club). As for the Sky Force, it’s their team and pro basketball is business – a company has the choice of hiring whomever they wish. We may cross paths again and we may not.
“This is not what I planned on happening but such is life – reality conflicts with your expectations, you adjust and keep moving. The most important thing for any situation is to keep moving.
“There are a lot of ball players … that stop reaching for what they want at points like this that I am experiencing. But that is just not who I am as a person. Nothing against those that choose to walk away when the things not going their way pile up – many of these people are good friends of mine – everything ain’t for everybody and we all have our own path. I am ambitious, persistent and stubborn. That is who I am and that will never change.
“I made a name for myself amongst bball players and fans not from what teams I was on or who decided they wanted me, but from taking control of situations and making something out of nothing … The ONLY way to have real power in this world is to take as much control as you possibly can over your own life and circumstances – ask any successful person you know about this and they’ll confirm it.”
In currently seeking employment, Baldwin is doing things the 21st-century way: He’s got an online petition active to garner some vocal support to get him into an NBA training camp, and his new one-man Twitter campaign is hashtagged #SignDreBaldwin.
So how about it, European clubs? Anyone looking to take on a speedy guard with high basketball IQ and gobs of tenacity? A few highlight clips from Baldwin’s collection run below.
In the meantime, BallinEurope wishes Dre the best of luck – it’s hard to imagine a guy this motivated can’t find a home before 2012-13 ends…