LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A basketball player from Lawton is moving to Serbia to follow his dreams of being a professional basketball player.
Tevin Foster played at Lawton High before bouncing around to colleges at just about every level, finishing his college career playing Division 1 at Abilene Christian University. But once he graduated, continuing to play became a waiting game.
"It took until all the way to December to get my foot in the door. That’s mid-season over in Europe. During the meantime, I’m like man I’m never going to play basketball again. It’s over for me. I was grinding hard, I went to a couple combines and I was like man maybe this isn’t going to work out and I need to try something different,” Foster said.
After months of no offers from anywhere, Foster decided to start networking for himself. He started by reaching out to an agent that he’d spoken with several months earlier.
"I woke up that next morning he was like hey, I’ve got a team that is in Croatia’s top league, they’re looking for a guard. They’re going to pay for your flight, it’s not big money but they’re going to pay for your flight. It’s the top league, if you go over here and perform, he was like man that’s when your career can start,” Foster said.
So, Foster was off to Croatia.
"I played 11 games, I went there and played consistent the entire time I was there, I ended up averaging 22.5 points per game and 5 assists per game,” Foster said.
Foster was certain his play had warranted him another contract somewhere but after several months, still no offers. So, Foster did the same thing he did to get his first professional job and found a new agent.
"He got me a new job, he got me a job in Serbia’s top league, which is a step higher than Croatia. Better opportunity, more money, it all worked out in the end,” Foster said.
Foster said he’s excited to get started but that none of this would be possible without his family.
"My big brother started this, he pushes us, he pushed us hard. Without him I don’t think I’d be where I am at today because he gave me great guidance, he’s a great mentor, he pushes me to be good. He pushes me harder than he pushes himself and that’s the same with my little bro, we both push him harder,” Foster said.
Foster hopes that pushing will send a message to the entire community.
"There’s a lot of kids here that are talented man. They can do the same thing. They’ve got to step ahead right now, if they just lock in and separate themselves man, they can do the same thing. Football, basketball, whatever it is man. They can do the same thing,” Foster said.
While he’s encouraging others to follow their dreams, Foster will hop on a plane for Serbia next week as he follows his.
"My goal is always to go to the NBA. To play or even get an opportunity in the NBA. Like I said, I know how it is for shorter guards, you’ve got to separate yourself, I know it’s possible,” Foster said.
Foster said he plans on separating himself by continuing to grind until he gets where he wants to be.
"I want to take a team to a championship, that’s my goal is to take a team to a championship and win a championship. I’ve never won a championship, I want to be a winner, I want to be seen as a winner and I know if I go over here and win, everything else will fall in place,” Foster said.