Foreign players hire outside recruiters to play in U.S.

first_img Published on March 28, 2017 at 9:41 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+ Playing tennis outside of the United States adds layers of complication and red tape that domestic players don’t have to go through. That’s why foreign players hire recruiters to gain exposure and shepherd them through the process of applying to college in the U.S.“In Europe, it’s really tough to find out how (to get to college),” sophomore Maria Tritou said, “and all of those things you need to know.”Only one player on Syracuse’s (5-8, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) current roster — Tritou — used a recruiter to get to college, but head coach Younes Limam said it’s through recruiters that he and his staff will identify players to potentially evaluate. Though other SU players may not have hired a recruiter, they have seen them firsthand overseas. Tritou first found out about recruiters through another player and soon hired one herself.That was in the spring of 2015, and Tritou enrolled at SU the following fall. Hiring help proved valuable because she started playing tennis at age 9, late by most standards. She also hailed from a small island in Greece, an unlikely place for Division I hopefuls. In the span of only a few months, the recruiter she hired not only helped reach out to coaches, but he worked through all of the bureaucratic obstacles to immigrating to the U.S.The NCAA requires three things for international college athletes to be eligible: academic records from age 9 and up in the native language they appear in and a full English translated version; proof of graduation in the form of diploma, certificates or final leaving exams; and either an SAT or ACT score. In addition, the U.S. Department of State requires an F-1 student visa, which costs $160 to apply and is mandatory to attend U.S. college as an international student.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“(A recruiter) tells you exactly what you need to do,” Tritou said, “which papers you need for the visas, all the details.”Czech Republic native Gabriela Knutson didn’t need anyone to garner college attention. She played in enough tournaments, including in the U.S., and at a high enough level to get attention from college coaches on her own. Recruiters occasionally reached out to her, but she never hired one during her prep days because of the market murkiness. Some work for agencies while others freelance. That said, Knutson acknowledged the risk may be worth it for players who aren’t able to play in tournaments all across Europe or feel under-scouted.“It’s not official,” Knutson said. “It’s more on the down low, kind of black market-ish.”One item of agreement is the nature of these agent-like operations. Most of the foreign players on the team had encountered recruiters or know girls who hired them, like Dina Hegab in Egypt, Tritou in Greece and Holland and Knutson in the Czech Republic.The industry is good for Limam and other tennis coaches who don’t have the budget to scout abroad. Recruiters minimize input funds for Limam, who can analyze video, make calls and send emails from his office. It eliminates the worry of investing time and money globetrotting to maybe come up empty-handed.Tritou may be the only player on Syracuse’s roster to have used a recruiter, and she credits her spot on the team to it. The system ended up instrumental to her journey to the U.S. to play at Syracuse.“I think that if I didn’t have him,” Tritou said. “I wouldn’t have been able to come here.” Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *