Updated: Dec 5, 2020
This piece was written by Jamal Clay, a frequent contributor of Globally Ballin and the founder of "The Athletes Forum"
Coming overseas was never in my initial plan. I was playing pro arena football after I graduated from college and I had a few tryouts in the CFL, but that was bout it. I originally planned to be a personal trainer for my own company McFerren Fitness & Pro-Formance which I am currently doing now. Back in 2014, I was getting a call from a GFL team, who made me take my first look at playing overseas, I immediately started to become interested in the opportunity. My first pro year in Europe was 3 years later in 2017. I signed with the GFL-Team Ravensburg Razorbacks and that’s how my European career began.
Deciding to play overseas was not an easy decision. I had to think a lot about it because my family didn’t want me to be so far from them and I am a 100% family person! My family stands over everything!!! However, I knew it was a big opportunity for me and it made it easier to know that my whole family had my back and support in what I wanted to do. I appreciate them very much and LOVE THEM! Now, was it the right decision…Yes! I felt like god sent me in the right direction in my career becoming a European champion and to be known as one of the best running backs overseas. I made some great friends and I found a beautiful girlfriend who is by my side and always has been there for me since I got here back in 2017.
A couple of years later, never did I think I was going be over here this long! Europe has changed me in a good way and has made me look at life differently. Being over here has allowed me to see opportunities when they are in front of me and it has given me the chance to help my community and people. I’m able to show them the world and things they have never seen. My message to all the young players is... DO IT! This chance is a once in a lifetime chance to see more of the world by doing what you love, playing ball
If I can go back in time, I would have made this jump to Europe earlier because this decision was very important for my career and for my growth.
Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith. It’s the only way to grow and make a difference in the world.
Lennies McFerren III