How to Become an NBA Scout

Are you more than an average basketball fan? Do you love watching NBA games and profiling different basketball players? Does the idea of traveling around the world and helping to spot the best basketball talents appeal to you?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding "Yes!" Then it would be best if you considered becoming an NBA scout. This article will break down this question and show you actionable steps to become an NBA scout.

Who Is an NBA Scout?

Who exactly is an NBA scout, and what do they do? The National Basketball Association scouts actively seek, assess, and try to recruit young and promising basketball talents. The job of an NBA scout is to attend different tournaments, schools leagues, and competitions to spot potential NBA players.

Broadly classified, there are two types of NBA scouts. Prospect scouts are as described above. But there is also a second type of scout, the advanced scouts.

Advance scouts are mainly concerned about helping their team assess an opposing team's strengths, weaknesses, and playing patterns.

An advanced team would typically identify the top players in an opponent team, watch and record the unique playing style, then submit this information to the coach. The coach would then use this information to prepare his team adequately.


Prospect scouts, on the other hand, having spotted a young talented player, would try to convince the player to join their team. They will also have to convince the team management they are working for that the proposed player is worth signing.

Basketball coaches can work as NBA scouts. However, this is not necessarily a requirement, and NBA scouts are primarily individuals with enough free time on their hands.

Why? Scouts often need to watch many basketball matches and travel widely, and many coaches do not have the free time required for scouting. As a result, NBA scouting is open to everyone who can meet the requirements.

Skills You Need To Be an NBA Scout

What are the skills you'll need to qualify to apply for the job role of an NBA scout? We've compiled some of them for you.

  • Sound Basketball Knowledge

To become an NBA scout, you must have a pretty good knowledge of basketball, and it would be best if you were up to date with different playing techniques and variations.

You must also have a solid understanding of the rules and regulations of the game and their differences across locations or tournaments. There is no better way to acquire this needed knowledge than becoming a consistent game fan.

Attend basketball games, join a neighborhood team, or you can watch NBA TV. By constantly improving your understanding of the basketball game, you'll be better positioned to be an NBA scout.

  • Good Communication Skills

Communication is an essential part of an NBA scout job description. You will need to speak to young players and persuade them. You'll be required to build relationships in different leagues across different levels to keep abreast with new developments.

Becoming an NBA scout means that you'll have to step out of your shell if you're an introvert. NBA scouts often have to make presentations to their team detailing potentials they've been working on. In addition to communication skills, you must also have good persuasion and negotiation skills. 

The only way to demonstrate your knowledge of players and opportunities is to communicate effectively.

  • An Eye for Talent

The ability to recognize talent and potential is undoubtedly the most critical asset of an NBA scout. You must also gauge leadership tendencies and assess a player's character on and off the field.

This quality will allow you to identify potential game-changers. The best and worst signings in basketball history have always been on this skill or the lack thereof.

While this ability is innate for some people, it can also be cultivated by exposing yourself to high-quality basketball environments.

  • Background Research Skills

In addition to spotting potential "stars," NBA scouts must be able to carry out background research on their potential.

What's the family background like? Are there any health concerns or criminal records? What's the attitude of the player like? What are the long-term plans of the player? Do the core values of the players align with the prospecting club? 

You may also need to determine if the player already has an existing contract or deal with another club. The ability to carry out independent investigations and evaluations about a player is a skill that will land you a job fast as an NBA scout.

  • Sales and Marketing Skills

As an NBA scout, you will need good observation skills, professional sales, and marketing skills. That is the ability to persuade potential talents and talented players to make the necessary club switch.

Becoming a successful NBA scout depends on successfully marketing your team's brand image. Often, there are already scouts from other clubs doing their best to win over a talented player. Moreover, exemplary sales and marketing skills will help you build the necessary relationships and networks needed in basketball. 

Steps To Becoming An NBA Scout

Having armed yourself with the prerequisites needed to become an NBA scout, here are the steps to achieve your dream.

  • Get An Education

While education might not automatically open doors for you, it does help. Consider getting a degree that aligns with the demands of an NBA scout.

That might be marketing, sports physiology, or even something related to business. If attending traditional college is not your thing or you cannot afford to, you can check out other courses and programs to help you find your feet.

  • Expand Your Understanding Of The Basketball

You need to know way above the basics if you ever want to be an NBA scout. No matter what you think you currently know, increase your knowledge about basketball as a sport.

A good college degree coupled with an in-depth understanding of the game might be enough to give you an edge.

Attend games, speak with professional players and coaches. Listen and catch up with historical moments, basketball regulations, top-rated players, and other news. That is why you'll need to be religiously passionate and committed to basketball if you want to be an NBA scout.

  • Acquire The Needed Experience

You'll need a portfolio that demonstrates you know your onions. The fastest way to build this is by taking on entry-level jobs or volunteering.

These experiences equip you with the practical knowledge of how a basketball team works, and they can also position you for more roles that bring you closer to your dream.

Also, having real-life experience with a sports organization shows recruiters you are not new to the system. You're better off with any expertise in basketball than with only a degree.

  • Build Relationships And Networks

Part of NBA scout jobs includes being able to obtain valuable information. Therefore, you should start building networks and relationships, particularly with people in the basketball industry.

You never can tell when a contact you've made can become a helpful asset. The right networks and relationships can also open you to recommendations that you need to secure a role as an NBA scout.

Strong interpersonal skills can quickly help you forge a career in the NBA, and they can also help you establish the right relationships with people. Healthy relationships can make you more effective, from coaches, right to the people in charge of sports equipment.

  • Review Games…Tons of Games

Put all your knowledge of basketball techniques and strategies to the test. Attend games with a note and pen. Review the information about players, ask questions. Understand the dynamics of the different teams and what role each player takes.


If you have a chance to meet with the basketball players themselves, ask questions. Try to see what information you can get from coaches and even fans. Participate in basketball games across all levels.

If you can't physically attend, get your hands on the video footage and review them. It may take some time and work, but eventually, your horizons will start to expand through consistent practice and exposure.

  • Be On The Lookout For Opportunities

Inform your network you'd like to work as an NBA scout. Also, be on the lookout for entry-level roles or any job that will get your foot in the door.

Once you get one foot in the door, keep learning and pushing. Eventually, you'll achieve your goal of becoming an NBA scout.

Conclusion: On Becoming an NBA Scout

An NBA scout is a job role that allows you to get paid for your passion. Alongside the opportunity to travel the world and make your mark in the world of basketball. We've provided you with the skills you need to become an NBA scout in this article. 

We've also highlighted the steps you need to take to achieve this feat. Hopefully, you'll use this information helpful in your pursuit to become an NBA scout. Here's to you achieving your dreams.

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Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast