Basketball scouts meet this week at the Endesa Mini Cup, where every year the world of the basket puts its hopes. From there will come many of the stars of the future, as happened with Doncic. But Jaime Alonso, player advisor and professional scout, is dedicated «to discover and detect talent, not to confirm it». This work that takes him around the world in search of a diamond with projection «NBA», three letters that summarize his aspirations. Natural from Albacete, he combined the Faculty of Chemistry with basketball until a summer training in Serbia made him discover his own talent, project the careers of his teammates. Ten years ago he created a representative website, and to his surprise, Nikolosz Tskitishvili, No. 5 of the 2002 NBA Draft, was one of its first clients. Now, together with Arturo Ortega, partner of the Wasserman agency in Europe, he dedicates his life to this passion and is one of the organizers of the La Roda (Albacete) minibasket tournament, the most prestigious in Europe.
–Do you envy the impact that agents have on football?
– Yes, but not so much his way of acting. Football creeps into everything from society to politics, and that makes everything more interested.
– Is it easy to do your job wrong?
– Much. Every day I am tempted to make economic decisions instead of sports. Ethics make a difference.
– What is the most expensive in the development of a talent?
– Personal tracking. I deal with minors and their families not only I propose a sports project, but also an educational one. I studied Chemistry to be a teacher and act as a legal guardian to help me fulfill that vocation.
–How much dedication does this attention require?
– All. If on Christmas Eve any player has a problem I have to be there.
– Yes. Ten years ago I discovered that when these teenagers enter important clubs they are treated as professionals, skipping educational stages, and that is something that needs to be changed. I try to make his life as similar as possible to that of any other boy his age.
–What are you looking for in a 12 year old player?
– My first cut is the physical one. I look from the ankles, bones, hips to the way of walking of their parents. Genetics is key and goes far beyond stature.
– And what is your next screen?
– Your family environment. Talent is essential, but I’m tired of seeing how it is wasted because of bad habits or external influences.
– How do you know that a player will have possibilities in 10 years?
– I try to turn my head into a time machine. I imagine those 12 year old children fully developed and in elite basketball. I calculate your chances of progression and adaptation. Although it is still a bet, I feel that my criteria are highly respected by the clubs.
– In the Minicopa is looking for a new Doncic?
– I do not. My job, precisely, is to get ahead of the Mini Cup. I dedicate myself to detect and discover talent, not to confirm it. I am not going to contribute much to a boy who is already on the radar of the big teams. I have rejected ACB players for the same reason. There is no challenge.
– What did you think the first time you saw Doncic?
– He was 12 years old, playing a tournament in Italy with the Olympia in Ljubljana (Slovenia). He scored 50 points. But what fascinates me the most is that the domain of the game that is showing in the NBA already had it at that age. I consider myself privileged for having witnessed its evolution. I would be able to recognize him seeing only his shadow on the track.
– Can you stay “Doncics” along the way?
– Of course. I do not know if at the level of Luka, but I see cases of kids with an extraordinary talent that are limited because of an insane environment. There is nothing more frustrating for a basketball lover.
–What is the secret to finding talent?
– Know where to look. My great professional step is the project that I have been in the Caribbean for two years. Among all its islands there are 30 million inhabitants, with a privileged genetics, and there are hardly any basketball foundations. The margin of growth is maximum.
– Will you get out of there “an NBA”?
– Yes, with one I have high hopes of fulfilling my dream. I took him a year and eight months ago from a ghetto in Trinidad and Tobago, without ever having played a game with rules. At this time the interest of several teams in the NBA Development League has already aroused, it is a matter of time. It would have an impressive impact, statistically 21 years old would have to be dead. It is a focus of hope for those countries.
– Why do you believe in him so much?
– Because it’s unique. He has privileged physical qualities (eave of 2.08) and the experience of an elder. He is used to live 24 hours on alert and it shows on the track. All I ask is that, even if one day you succeed, you always remember that you can be happy with fifty euros in your pocket, as it is now.
– Will it be his debut in a Draft?
– Most likely not. I have many possibilities to be in the Draft this year but with some player from Africa or France. Getting this is my daily inspiration.