Hoopsfix Podcast - British Basketball with Sam Neter

Sam Neter: British Basketball Advocate, Blogger & Thinker

The Hoopsfix Podcast is the hub of British basketball discussion. Hosted by Sam Neter, founder of British basketball website Hoopsfix.com, and featuring guests ranging from players, to coaches and key influencers within the UK basketball community, it is one of the few places to get accurate, topical and thought provoking information on the British basketball landscape. read less
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Episodes

Big picture thinking at the Caledonia Gladiators - with Steve Timoney - Ep. 114
Apr 3 2023
Big picture thinking at the Caledonia Gladiators - with Steve Timoney - Ep. 114
For episode 114 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with Caledonia Gladiators owner Steve Timoney.Timoney and his wife Alison – who also own the Gladiators’ WBBL franchise – took over the BBL club just before the start of this season and are self financing the project they consider to be part of their legacy.With a net worth estimated at anywhere between £60 million and £100 million they have lofty ambitions for the club which include a £20million facility project, announced last month.In this hour long episode we speak to Steve about his business background, how he got involved with basketball, and his plans for the franchise which they are aiming to be a powerhouse in British basketball for years to come.Timestamps:00:00 Intro02:42 Interview start03:03 How he first got involved with basketball09:06 Steve’s business background12:41 If you want to turn a large fortune into a small fortune buy a sports team16:41 The low hanging fruit to make the business work when Steve took over24:26 Spending £20million on a 6000 seat arena and 5 court training facility31:26 How the £20million is being financed for the facility33:31 How to get a return on the £20million investment36:47 Interactions with 777 and other franchises44:11 We want to be the second biggest league in the world outside of the NBA48:00 The challenges with getting the mainstream media to cover basketball52:53 Building out the front office of the Caledonia Gladiators and the necessary head count56:16 How much Steve is involved operationally at the moment57:46 Can Scotland support another professional basketball franchise?
The task of unifying the sport as Chair of the BBF – with Chris Grant – Ep. 113
Mar 18 2023
The task of unifying the sport as Chair of the BBF – with Chris Grant – Ep. 113
For episode 113 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with new Chair of the British Basketball Federation (BBF), Chris Grant.Having been announced in September and officially starting the role in November, Grant joined the organisation following a tumultuous summer for the Great Britain national team programmes, underscored by the men’s disastrous showing at EuroBasket.In this little over an hour podcast, we discuss why he took on the role, what the challenges are, and what he is trying to do to change the future of the BBF.Timestamps:00:00 Intro02:45 Interview start03:05 How Chris came across the role and what made him want to take it on03:56 His previous experience and knowledge of basketball06:36 What his perception was of British basketball before getting involved11:12 What are the specific issues that have held the BBF back over the years16:53 The medals debate with regards to individual vs team sports21:18 What Chris is going to do differently to try to unify the sport, and whether or not we should give up on the idea of a BBF with the Home Country Associations29:58 Whether the option for the BBF to disband is completely off the table32:33 Why he hasn’t done any interviews since taking the role42:46 What commitment UK Sport has made to the programme moving forward47:20 The terms of the UK Sport funding50:41 The disastrous men’s EuroBasket campaign last summer57:05 What the ideal process would be for accountability of the board1:05:33 777’s interest in the national teams1:08:04 Whether he could see 777 investing in the national team programme1:09:23 Wether the increased investment in the league will mean the licence fee paid to the BBF will increase1:11:29 How much it costs to run the BBF every year1:14:46 Whether the men will be entered into the FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournaments this year
Taking the helm of the BBL as CEO - with Aaron Radin - Ep. 112
Dec 12 2022
Taking the helm of the BBL as CEO - with Aaron Radin - Ep. 112
For episode 112 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with recently named CEO of the BBL, Aaron Radin.Announced last week as the new face and boss of the league, the American joins the league after a 30-year professional career where he has held senior level positions at a multitude of sports, media and tech organisations such as the NBA, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal and most recently, Meta.He joins the league almost exactly a year since 777 Partners announced a £7million investment into the BBL.In this hour long conversation we go into his vision for the league and his new role, and what his hopes and plans are for the future of the BBL.Timestamps:2:37 Interview start2:53 Aaron background9:13 How the opportunity arose for the BBL CEO role13:39 Working out immediate priorities18:45 What goes into producing a world-class broadcast22:11 How much more investment is required to get the BBL to level desired25:24 The importance of technology and systems26:45 How important a TV broadcast deal is33:03 Where the figure 70% of audience is 13-34 is from36:07 Content versus product38:20 How many staff the BBL office currently has and how many they are trying to get to43:22 Organisational structure and who the CEO reports to44:06 Managing the 777 conflict of interest as owner of London Lions and the league46:07 How many franchises the BBL could support and how many he’d like to see48:26 The biggest drivers of revenue for the business moving forward49:48 Balance between British and American import talent54:03 How to develop fandom in British fans1:01:28 Disparity between franchises and how to minimise its impact1:05:06 How revenue sharing would work1:05:47 What does success look like for the BBLThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Becoming unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year - with Tosan Evbuomwan - Ep. 111
Nov 17 2022
Becoming unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year - with Tosan Evbuomwan - Ep. 111
For Episode 111 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with Princeton Tiger and unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year, Tosan Evbuomwan.The 21 year old out of Newcastle is fresh off a breakout season with Princeton, and is coming to London next week for the London Basketball Classic to play in front of a home crowd with his college team.The former GB U18 and Hoopsfix All-Star Classic alumnus ended regular season play last season as the Ivy League leader in assists per game (5.0), and assist/turnover ratio (2.2). He ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage (53.2%), fourth in points (15.4), fifth in steals (1.4), and seventh in rebounds (6.4).In this 50 minute episode we discuss his career so far, playing in the London Basketball Classic next week, and his hopes for the future.Timestamps:00:00 Intro03:28 Interview start03:35 Returning to England and playing on home soil04:22 Looking ahead to the London Basketball Classic opener against Army05:03 How important NCAA showcases in the UK are for young British players06:02 Whether Tosan is going to be showing his teammates around06:52 How he first got into basketball08:03 What made him give up football and pursue basketball09:03 How he ended up getting involved with the Newcastle Eagles09:44 When the growth spurt happened10:21 When he started taking the game seriously12:44 Whether has has goals of being a pro and when that became the driver13:30 Who the guys he was looking at as the best in his age group in the UK14:22 Feeling out of his depth at first England U15s camp15:33 His experiences in the EABL17:28 How NBL Division 1 helped his development18:15 How his two summers with the GB U18s in Division A was19:16 Comparing Division A European teams to GB21:07 Frustrations around British basketball24:48 The recruiting process and how he ended up at Princeton27:24 Blowing it in front of Princeton coaching staff on their visit to the UK29:14 What his visit to Princeton was like and being a student-athlete on campus30:50 Dealing with the academy load32:10 His Major, and interest in finance along with work placement33:52 Transition from the UK to the US and difference on the floor35:33 Welcome to America moments36:44 His Sophomore year being cancelled due to COVID40:00 The step up from his Freshman year to his Junior year41:27 His expectations going into the 2021-22 season43:32 What his expectations are for this season45:00 The best British player he’s ever played against46:03 Favourite coach he’s played for46:29 Favourite basketball memory so far46:46 Most challenging basketball moment47:20 Advice for a young aspiring British player48:06 Where he wants to be five years from now
Retiring as a GB all-time great - with Dan Clark - Ep. 110
Oct 3 2022
Retiring as a GB all-time great - with Dan Clark - Ep. 110
For Episode 110 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with GB all-time great Dan Clark, who announces his retirement from playing professional basketball.The London 2012 Olympian, whose final season has ended up being his only one playing domestically - with the Manchester Giants in the BBL - is fresh off becoming GB men’s all-time caps leader during their recent EuroBasket campaign last month, adding to his all-time points, rebounding and blocked shots leader titles.The first British player to sign a junior contract in Europe as a 14 year old, he had a 17 year professional career that saw him amass over 1800 points in the ACB, the top domestic league in the world outside of the NBA, while becoming GB captain as an ever-present force in the squad each summer.In this hour long convo we discuss his decision to retire, what's next, GB's recent EuroBasket campaign, his first season in the BBL, as well as looking back on taking the European pathway as opposed to the US route.Timestamps:00:00 Introduction03:16 Interview start03:26 Why Dan has decided to retire05:11 Whether he thought coming into this season he could retire06:25 What his masters is in06:38 What the next step in his career is07:59 Whether he had the next role lined up before making decision to retire09:07 Whether he's completely stopped playing and working out09:55 How difficult the recent EuroBasket campaign was 13:27 Whether he would get involved with working with the federations18:28 Does grassroots or elite need to be focused on first for basketball's development20:10 Thoughts on the BBL after a full season in it25:33 The impact Lloyd Gardner being Head Coach at Manchester had in bringing him back to the UK 26:46 His assessment of the Giants' season29:15 The situation in Manchester with regards to this off-season and the club's financial troubles30:44 The lack of communication from the Giants 32:56 Why the Giants might be struggling financially34:34 Whether he could see himself owning a BBL franchise36:30 Where the BBL could be better from a player experience perspective39:00 The importance of a player association41:20 Signing a junior contract in Spain as a 14 year old49:06 The intricacies of signing a junior contract51:10 What his schedule looked like as a 14 year old52:40 How it worked with regards to getting paid54:33 Being recruited by high major Division 1 programmes56:34 Turning down the likes of Syracuse to take the European route59:02 Whether he felt the NBA was in reach1:53:05 His ability to pass the ball and where it came from1:03:28 The standout moments from his career1:05:29 His best individual performance1:07:15 Best coach he's played for1:09:34 Whether it was a surprise for him that Spain won EuroBasket1:11:21 His favourite teammate of all time1:12:51 Advice he would give to a young aspiring British basketball player1:14:35 What he wants his legacy to be
Retiring on top – with Jo Leedham-Warner – Ep. 109
Jun 22 2022
Retiring on top – with Jo Leedham-Warner – Ep. 109
For episode 109 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we do a special with British basketball legend Jo Leedham-Warner, who has announced her retirement from playing professional basketball.An 11-year career that reads like a fairytale, Leedham-Warner is coming off an undefeated season in the WBBL where she was named MVP after returning to play following giving birth.A London 2012 Olympian, EuroCup champion, WNBA draft pick and the NCAA Division 2 all-time leading scorer to name a few, Jo will go down as one of the all-time greats out of the UK and in this hour episode we look at her decision to retire and her final season in the WBBL.Timestamps:00:00 Intro02:46 Making the decision to retire and how she feels about it05:20 Having had a month to reflect on it since the end of the season06:46 How important it was to have done a season after becoming a mother07:52 How difficult it was playing after being a mother10:53 How the club managed having a player with a newborn13:33 The first practices of the season after time off to give birth16:47 How important it was for Jo to finish her career on top18:53 Has Mark or the club tried to persuade her to come back20:06 Not collecting the MVP trophy before the WBBL Final21:30 Jo's mentality and where it comes from25:52 The shock win over her former club Bourges  29:15 Frustration with the wider British public/media and own club not caring about what her and the team were doing33:50 The amount of media that British basketball misses out on from not having a dedicated PR person36:18 The WBBL not bringing Jo out for the final post-game presser at the WBBL Playoff Final37:33 What she would do as the CEO of the WBBL39:59 Deciding on whether to go back to school next to study psychology43:45 Whether she would want to be involved with British basketball from a federation or club standpoint45:36 How many conversations she had with the federations while being back in the UK to capitalise on her presence51:35 What her career highlight is53:19 Favourite coach54:32 How she wants to be looked back on as a player55:05 Advice for the next generation
Preparing to be the next Brit in the NBA – with Jeremy Sochan – Ep. 108
Jun 9 2022
Preparing to be the next Brit in the NBA – with Jeremy Sochan – Ep. 108
With less than 2 weeks until the NBA draft, we sit down with projected lottery pick Jeremy Sochan to discuss how his preparation is going and ask him questions submitted from the fans via our Instagram page.Sochan is set to become the first Brit drafted since Ryan Richards in 2010, and only the second to go in the lottery, following on from Luol Deng. The former MK Trojan and Solent Kestrel left the UK at 16 to attend La Lumiere High School before returning to Europe to play in Germany at OrangeAcademy. From there he signed with Baylor where he has risen draft boards over the course of the season to become a projected lottery pick on June 23rd.In this 15 minute interview we spoke about how the draft process has been and answered questions for Jeremy from fans via our Instagram page.Timestampes:00:00 Intro03:21 Interview start03:45 What the last 8 weeks have been like since declaring04:28 When he knew he was going to declare for the draft05:26 What a typical day looks like for Jeremy at the moment06:30 How is he feeling about it all07:22 His own assessment on his game08:15 Dealing with internet trolls10:09 Biggest thing he's learned from his journey to the draft10:59 Which coach has had the biggest impact on his game11:21 When he was at Itchen did he think he would make the NBA11:43 Best players he played against in England12:24 What colour is he going to dye his hair next12:40 Does he consider himself British, American or Polish13:16 Who he wants to dunk on the most13:29 How many pairs of basketball shoes he owns and favourite brand13:46 Who he would compare his game to in the NBA14:17 Does he remember the MK Trojans14:45 Was going to the Solent Kestrels the right move for him15:13 What is he most excited about15:42 Approaching the financial side of things with NBA money16:29 Would he consider owning an AAU team17:10 What advice he would give to the next young player from the UK
Why 777 invested millions into the BBL - with Lenz Balan - Ep. 107
Feb 13 2022
Why 777 invested millions into the BBL - with Lenz Balan - Ep. 107
For episode 107 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with Lenz Balan, Vice President of 777 Partners and new owners of the BBL and London Lions.Following on from the announcement that 777 have invested £7million into the BBL for a 45% stake (though their ownership of the Lions takes it to 50%), we thought it was necessary to get a look into who is behind the scenes at 777, find out their reasons for investing into British basketball and what their plans are for the league.In this hour and a half podcast we dig deep into how the investment came about, what their learnings have been so far, and the scale of their ambition for British basketball.Timestamps:00:00 Introduction05:01 Interview start05:28 Why did they invest in British basketball?08:42 What 777's assessment is of what has held the game back in the UK so far13:55 How private equity works and how investors will get a return and how long it will take16:45 What the immediate plan looks like for the next 12 months19:50 How important the TV piece is 21:00 The scale of ambition of 777 and how much money is really needed24:10 How 777 have been received in the British basketball community and dealt with politics27:29 The level of collaboration required and involving other stakeholders in the plan29:55 How the investment into the London Lions led to the BBL investment31:29 The percentage stake 777 have in the BBL and how decision making will work now33:34 The similarities between the Australian NBL and the BBL's situation and creating a situation for NBA draft prospects to do a rookie year in the UK 38:04 The BBL's role in developing British talent 40:47 His thoughts on British basketball culture44:14 The GB national team programme 46:14 Whether a strong national team programme is more important than a strong professional league47:40 The London Lions mens teams not playing British players in European competition50:39 Why BBL teams competing in Europe is so important54:30 Is the Euroleague the aspiration with the London Lions?55:49 Whether it's a conflict of interest to own the league and a club in it57:21 What the key cities are the BBL is targeting for new franchises59:19 How many franchises the BBL could realistically support 1:00:43 Would the BBL ever consider promotion and relegation1:02:13 Whether the size of the task ever becomes overwhelming1:03:52 If the investment was to fail, why would it fail1:06:00 What the biggest learnings and surprising things are so far 1:08:30 How to work out which opinions to take seriously and which to disregard1:11:07 The biggest mistakes they've made so far1:14:30 How difficult hiring and finding the right people is 1:17:39 How this BBL investment will impact the WBBL and the women's game1:20:01 How the BBL will look in 10-15 years time if everything goes to plan1:22:23 Facilities and how important the infrastructure around the game is1:24:15 Whether current BBL owners will want to split their franchise equity stakes with other investors1:25:44 What message he would have for fans 1:27:22 Wrap up
How to transform your local basketball court - with Malvern Hoops - Ep. 106
Sep 30 2021
How to transform your local basketball court - with Malvern Hoops - Ep. 106
For Episode 106 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with Jon May and Tom Bennett from the Malvern Hoops campaign, who have recently transformed their local basketball courts.The five year campaign came to an end in August, after the brand new courts at Victoria Park, in Malvern, Worcestershire, were officially opened. Not purely aesthetic, the courts have been resurfaced with new hoops installed, completed with spring loaded rims and fibreglass backboards.In this hour long podcast, we go into the backstory of the Malvern Hoops campaign, how they managed to pull it off and what others who are trying to do the same thing can learn from them.Timecodes:00:00 Introduction2:56 Interview start3:30 Jon May's background08:35 Tom Bennett's background08:45 What made them both decide to take action13:30 Their first steps after being positively received by the council14:20 How confident they were of being able to make it happen18:43 Where to go to find out about land permissions20:02 What is the role in the council responsible for basketball court renovations20:56 What they were looking to do 24:55 The first budget they drew up and the costs they were looking at26:50 What the breakdown of costs were for an estimated £90,000 budget28:10 What makes the Malvern Hoops campaign different to a lot the other art court projects28:57 How they were going to be able to raise the money29:56 How long of a process it is working with councils31:36 The process of trying to raise £5,000 themselves36:55 Deciding to involve netball for a different part of the park to help gain more support40:25 Ensuring you publicise your campaign and getting media coverage42:36 Importance of being able to show a need/desire for the project from the community45:14 Jon and Tom's top 10 tips for anyone trying to their own basketball court project45:43 1) Check the Malvern Hoops website for more details46:13 2) Don't expect it to be easy47:41 3) Get your budget and financials in order49:54 4) Use 2D/3D software to get a mockup of the court project done51:35 5) Be a spokesperson & advocate for your project53:28 6) Get as much help as possible56:04 7) Include costs for security in the project58:11 8) Consider the use of FlexCourt flooring1:01:20 9) Consider putting other sports into the proposal1:02:54 10) Focus on having a big launchThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Making an easy transition into retirement from pro ball - with Joe Ikhinmwin - Ep. 105
Aug 19 2021
Making an easy transition into retirement from pro ball - with Joe Ikhinmwin - Ep. 105
For episode 105 of the Hoopsfix podcast, we sit down with England international and nine year pro, Joe Ikhinmwin.In this two hour bumper episode, the former London Lions captain exclusively reveals he is retiring from basketball, with a smooth transition to The Cyber Nerds, the business he set up with three friends to review movies, comics and games which has become a huge success.Starting his basketball career as a 14 year old at East London Royals, he moved on to Barking Abbey basketball academy before attending Seminole State Junior College and then NCAA Division 1 South Carolina State where he turned pro upon graduation.He signed with the Newcastle Eagles in his rookie year before moving to his hometown London Lions where he has remained since, captaining the club for the past 6 seasons whilst winning a Cup, Trophy and League title.We discuss all of that and more in this episode that crosses the intersection of basketball, business, content creation, player welfare, and more.Time stamps:00:00 Intro03:37 Interview start04:00 Joe reveals he is retiring06:50 Why he's decided to retire now09:24 Is Joe still working out to stay in shape?10:48 Whether Joe is 100% of if he could come out of retirement in years to come11:42 The transition to retirement from playing being easier due to his other stuff13:28 Advice for younger players starting their career in the BBL25:00 Whether the level of the BBL is underrated26:54 Minutes and wages for British players in the BBL28:51 The important of continuity of a roster for marketing30:50 Clubs arguing they operate within the rules so signing naturalised British players is fine31:55 Whether his contracts would have been enough to live well off and British players not being paid enough33:55 What he would say to teams that say they don't have the budgets to pay players more39:25 Where is the player union?42:13 How much do players communicate throughout the league? 43:40 If players discuss their contracts with each other50:20 Perception is everything51:55 Joe's early days playing starting at East London Royals56:30 How he ended up going to Barking Abbey1:01:23 Sam's two standout memories of Joe1:03:57 The impact Barking Abbey had on Joe's development as a person1:06:49 Where Joe's work ethic came from1:09:23 Self awareness as a player and why so many players lack it 1:11:27 Whether Joe has been able to have input on systems with teams he plays on1:13:10 The London Lions last season and Joe's evaluation of it1:17:39 Whether the big roster was a source of issues with players having to sit out on rotation1:19:00 How much 777 have changed things internally with the London Lions1:19:55 The impact of COVID last season on the Lions' European run and the Cup Final 1:23:13 The Cyber Nerds and the stuff Joe has going on off the court1:27:37 Whether he started the Cyber Nerds with the intention of it being a business1:28:35 The different revenue streams of the Cyber Nerds1:32:30 How to monetize Hoopsfix, and size of the British basketball market1:47:03 Having almost 100,000 followers on Instagram1:48:29 Whether there is more pressure when posting with a large audience1:50:24 Importance of a personal brand for athletes and whether players with a bigger following will have greater leverage with contracts1:54:14 Marketing advice for the league and teams1:56:44 Favourite basketball memory1:59:50 Favourite coach he's ever played for2:00:08 Best junior player he's ever seen2:01:30 Best individual performance he's ever witnessed2:02:33 His best performance of his career2:05:12 What's next for Joe in the next 3-5 years The show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Getting a BBL & WBBL franchise off the ground - with Jay Marriott - Ep. 104
Aug 12 2021
Getting a BBL & WBBL franchise off the ground - with Jay Marriott - Ep. 104
For episode 104 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with Jay Marriott, CEO of Gloucester Sport, responsible for new WBBL franchise Gloucester Queens and potential BBL franchise Gloucester Kings.A former pro player and Head Coach of the Plymouth Raiders, Marriott was brought in by long-term friend Alex Petheram - 100% owner of the new Gloucester operation - to oversee and manage the basketball side of things, including the WBBL franchise that was recently accepted for this coming season, and a potential BBL franchise for the 2022-23 season.In this hour plus conversation, hear from Jay on how the franchise came to be, what the process has been like, along with their plans for the future in a unique behind the scenes insight into what it is like to get a professional basketball franchise off the ground in the UK.Time codes:00:00 Intro02:22 Podcast start02:30 How did the franchise come to be?05:08 The specific date Jay first heard of the potential franchise06:02 Who the people are involved behind the scenes08:35 The projected costs of having a BBL and WBBL franchise11:01 What is the current BBL franchise fee11:46 What is the value in a BBL franchise, is it a good investment16:14 Whether there are standard operating procedures and documentation you receive as a BBL franchise owner21:24 The timelines for a WBBL and BBL franchise and how they changed26:18 How confident they are of having the BBL franchise accepted in 202228:50 Whether clubs should have to work their way up through the NBL and spend longer building their base before getting a professional franchise34:35 Venues, and where Gloucester will be playing42:14 Biggest surprises so far in the whole process47:48 Visas and the process to be able to get import players51:46 Roster make up with visa limitations52:54 Whether Gloucester have scholarships to offer players56:29 What their expectations are performance wise on the floor1:01:29 Who will be coaching the WBBL franchise1:05:10 Whether the WBBL gets less focus because its the same owners of the BBL clubs1:08:58 Immediate priorities heading into the new season and over the next 18 monthsThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
How the love of the game keeps you playing into your 40's - with Jason Swaine - Ep. 103
May 20 2021
How the love of the game keeps you playing into your 40's - with Jason Swaine - Ep. 103
For episode 103 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with former England senior international and BBL pro, Jason Swaine.Swaine, known to be one of the great all-time shooters, picked up 24 caps for England, is a three-time BBL title winner and 12-time National League Division 1 title champion.Starting his professional career with the Sheffield Sharks, he led the BBL in 3-point percentage in his second year, and also played for Chester Jets and Manchester Giants.Eventually signing with Teeside Mohawks, he was a part of one of the most successful teams in national league history as they pulled off the clean sweep treble three times in four years.After choosing to focus on his teaching career in 2004, he continued to play in the lower national leagues (winning Division 3 MVP twice in 2009 and 2010), before retiring from the national league in 2016 but still playing to this day in local leagues and in the masters tournaments.Timestamps:00:00 Intro01:58 Interview start02:10 Swaine's take on the BBL this season in comparison to his playing days05:18 Whether Jason followed the league much prior to this season06:21 The growth of netball and Jason's daughter being a player08:39 Whether it's hard for him to enjoy basketball as a fan09:36 What made Jason first get into basketball11:19 Balancing football and basketball12:32 Curtis Xavier and his impact on Jason15:17 Where are the roles for ex pros in the UK? 16:08 Whether he saw a career in basketball at 1518:02 Swaine's work ethic to become a great shooter20:17 When he became known as a good shooter21:53 Players he looked up to coming up23:13 Access to the NBA in the early 90s24:02 Why he switched from Calderdale to Doncaster25:07 The level of competition in Division 126:46 Other great players of his generation28:00 How the opportunity with the Sheffield Sharks came about30:05 Whether he had a welcome to the pros moment31:45 How much money he could earn as a 19 year old in the BBL33:08 Whether playing in the BBL felt like 'a thing'35:41 To be a professional you need a tax code!36:49 The increase of his role from his rookie year to his second year39:19 The McDonald's Open Championship43:21 Playing Real Madrid being up 17 at the half and losing by 345:24 Making his debut with the England Senior national team at 2147:28 Standout memories with the England team49:16 How good were John Amaechi and Steve Bucknall?50:58 Standout victories with England52:55 Why he left Sheffield Sharks57:15 His half season in Chester58:50 Playing for Manchester Giants in their prime years1:00:19 The level Manchester were operating at compared to other teams 1:01:30 Whether he thinks Manchester can get back to where they were1:03:15 His dominant years with Teeside and why he chose to go D11:05:22 Teeside doing a treble three years out of four1:07:23 What has kept Jason playing for so long1:09:21 Playing with his son Eisley at Bradford in Division 11:12:59 The importance of having family support1:14:33 Standout best British junior players1:15:29 The best British player he has played with or against1:16:20 Best individual performance he has ever witnessed1:17:36 Favourite basketball memory1:18:51 What is in the future for Jason in the next 3-5 years  The show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Developing a performance pathway for British basketball - with Warwick Cann - Ep. 102
May 13 2021
Developing a performance pathway for British basketball - with Warwick Cann - Ep. 102
For episode 102 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with Warwick Cann, the former Performance Pathways Co-ordinator and National Teams Director for GB and Basketball England.Warwick, an Australian, was hired in 2009, and had a number of different roles through to 2016 focused around performance pathways and the national teams, as he sat between both the BBF and BE.In this little over an hour conversation, we look back on his time in the UK with basketball, what the issues were, and what we can learn from them.Timestamps:00:00 Intro02:48 Interview start02:55 Warwick's background before getting involved with British basketball05:00 The original role he applied for within British basketball07:19 What his plans and expectations were coming into the role09:12 His early impressions of British basketball compared to his expectations12:52 Why there was a gap in coaches' knowledge about the game15:40 The ease of which clubs can get set up in the UK compared to Australia  18:28 The first thing he needed to do in his role and getting buy in23:45 The Regional Institute of Basketball model28:44 Is basketball in the UK made more complicated by having clubs and educational institutions? 31:04 The difficulty of relying on a volunteer workforce39:07 The Areas of Emphasis44:37 The need for a focus on point guard play46:49 Whether it is disappointing the Areas of Emphasis is not used anymore49:04 Did he think the London 2012 Olympics was going to change everything55:36 What he thinks the Olympic legacy was58:16 The politics involved with British Performance Basketball being a separate entity1:05:35 If he could go back, what ]he would  change to ensure there was a London 2012 legacyThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Career pathways for British coaches - with Tim Lewis - Ep. 101
May 6 2021
Career pathways for British coaches - with Tim Lewis - Ep. 101
For episode 101 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with British coaching trailblazer Tim Lewis.Lewis, who most recently was an advanced scout for the Toronto Raptors, left the UK in 2006 to pursue his coaching dream, starting at CBA in Spain, before returning to set up Essex Pirates in the BBL as a pathway for young British talent.A former junior and senior national team player who went on D1 scholarship to the University of New Hampshire, Lewis has coached at European Championships, Commonwealth Games and at the Olympics.Since then he did time in Germany's pro B with Weissenhorn Japan with Hitachi Sun Rockers, times in the NBA G-League between Bakersfield Jam and Raptors 905, before heading to Thailand, where he also took the helm of their Senior National Team. Time with the Qatar National Team followed, and he is currently surveying for the next opportunity.Timestamps:00:00 Intro02:55 Interview start03:17 Opportunity over money06:43 Whether being single makes pursuing dreams easier08:54 The barriers British coaches face and the perception of British coaches11:26 The need for more professional coaching roles in the BBL15:41 Advice for young coaches who want a career in coaching19:17 What he would do if he was working for the federation to develop coaching23:54 How importance the level of coaching is for the development of the game25:45 Why we haven't seen another pro club try to replicate Essex Pirates efforts to give young British talent meaningful minutes31:19 Could the UK produce a compelling enough offer to keep kids here instead of the US college route33:51 Why the Essex Pirates failed37:37 How much of a personal blow the failure of the Pirates was39:55 Skepticism of being able to run a pro franchise with young British talent41:31 the London 2012 Olympics and lack of British presence on the men's coaching bench48:43 Thoughts on the London 2012 Olympic legacy51:39 What needed to be done differently to ensure a legacy1:01:40 Thoughts on British player talent development over the years1:04:48  What he is currently doing1:06:18 Whether he feels he is close to getting a gig in the NBA1:08:36 Having to start from the bottom again if an NBA gig was to come to fruition1:09:27 The job opportunity in Thailand that gave him financial stability1:12:48 Losing his job in Thailand1:15:15 Reaching different tiers in coaching and being put in different brackets1:18:31 Whether coaches have agents1:19:45 Favourite basketball memory1:21:21 Best British junior player he's ever seen1:22:17 Whether it was obvious certain British guys were going to the NBA 1:23:35 Best individual performance ever witnessed by a British player1:24:28 Other top British coaches 1:26:46 What's in the future for TimThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
What happened to the London 2012 Olympics basketball legacy? Ep. 100
Apr 29 2021
What happened to the London 2012 Olympics basketball legacy? Ep. 100
For Episode 100 of the Hoopsfix podcast, we do a deep dive into the London 2012 Olympic legacy, interviewing 8 different people who were in and around the British basketball programme.We wanted to do something a little bit different for hitting the century mark and after a suggestion on Twitter from @auld_jethart to look at the Olympic legacy, we jumped on it.There were plans to interview a lot more people - but already reaching just short of 3 hours, we figured release this is as a part one with a potential part two to come with other guests, if people want to see it.The eight people interviewed for this Olympic legacy special were Ron Wuotila, Head of Operations for British Basketball amongst other roles, Dan Clark, current GB co-captain and Olympian, Tim Lewis, GB assistant coach at the London 2012 Olympics, Phil Waghorn, GB Senior Men's Team Manager, Tony Garbelotto, GB assistant coach in the run up to London 2012, Warwick Cann, GB's Pathways Performance Co-Ordinator, Mark Clark, the GB Senior Women's coach from 2006-2009, and Mark Woods, the UK's leading basketball journalist who covered (and continues to cover) GB pre and post London 2012.Timestamps:00:00 Intro03:41 Ron Wuotila19:05 Dan Clark35:37 Tim Lewis51:51 Phil Waghorn1:18:28 Tony Garbelotto1:39:37 Warwick Cann2:00:43 Mark Clark2:24:31 Mark WoodsThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Having over six decades on the sidelines coaching - with John Collins - Ep. 99
Apr 11 2021
Having over six decades on the sidelines coaching - with John Collins - Ep. 99
For Episode 99 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with British coaching legend John Collins.Collins, awarded an MBE in 2009 for his services to basketball, has been coaching for over six decades and done it at every level.He was at the helm of Sutton for the first ever National League game, and again when they became the first ever English team to win a game in Europe, coached both the England and Great Britain Senior Women, where he qualified England for the European Championships, was at the helm of the legendary Avon Cosmetics women's programme who dominated the national league for a number of years, and has been instrumental for the development of basketball in Northamptonshire, founding the early stages of Northants Basketball Club in 2000 along with Moulton College basketball academy in 2005.Having also helped set up the Basketball Coaches Association (BCA) with Mark Dunning, Collins has dedicated his life to the sport and been a long-term advocate for the development of the British game.In this 90 minute episode, we look back at John's journey.Note: We had some technical issues, so the episode does end rather abruptly and not in the usual fashion - expect a part 2 at some point! Timestamps:00:00 Intro02:59 Interview start03:15 How John was first introduced to basketball04:35 Whether he fell in love with the game right away05:38 How far he took his own playing before coaching07:34 Royal Albert Hall as a basketball venue09:14 The evolution of the skill level  12:48 Where basketball sat within English culture in the '60s14:54 Where the hotbeds of basketball were in the '60s and '70s18:10 How John's early coaching career progressed20:33 Working out what to teach and how to learn23:30 The role the governing body had to help coaches develop25:44 How the move to Sutton & Crystal Palace happened29:58 Coaching in the first ever National League game and its formation32:42 How basketball had been able to develop from the 60s to 70s 35:09 Whether the national league was being administered by the NGB or the clubs in the early years35:55 Not learning from our mistakes in the past36:44 The important of getting British basketball history accessible and documented39:12 Under-appreciated success stories in British basketball history40:56 British Performance Basketball initially wiping history in the sport's narrative 44:11 What can be done to make the basketball history more accessible46:03 Losing his job with Sutton & Crystal Palace48:00 How important it was to be the first English team to get a win in Europe49:46 How important it is for British clubs to be competing in Europe51:47 Getting involved with Central YMCA 53:38 His first exposure to women's basketball and whether it changed his approach55:02 The progression of his coaching development journey59:34 Why English coaches were so closed in their sharing of tactics1:01:55 Whether English coaches mentality is more open now1:03:17 The founding of the BCA UK1:06:02 His proudest achievements with the BCA1:08:50 The Avon Cosmetics women's programme1:12:44 The level of dominance the Avon Cosmetics team were having1:14:23 The barriers to development of the women's game over the years 1:17:32 The founding of Northants Thunder   The show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Using your pro career to give back to your community - with Orlan Jackman - Ep. 98
Apr 1 2021
Using your pro career to give back to your community - with Orlan Jackman - Ep. 98
For Episode 98 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with Solent Kestrels forward and England and GB Senior international Orlan Jackman.Originally out of Hackney, Jackman started out with the Hackney White Heat before heading to the US to prep school in California. Unable to get the NCAA Division 1 offer he was looking for, he returned to the UK for a season playing for Manchester Magic under Jeff Jones in NBL D1, before heading back to the US to JUCO.He attended Seminole State College - with current London Lion captain Joe Ikhinmwin - before being stung by the NCAA's eligibility rules at NCAA D2 school Newman, and ended up at Oklahoma City University in the NAIA.Turning pro in 2012-13, he signed with his hometown London Lions for his rookie year, and has gone on to a pro career that saw him have success in Germany, a stint in Portugal before returning to play domestically, having played for Worcester Wolves, Newcastle Eagles, Cheshire Phoenix, London City Royals and since the Royals folded, time with Essex Leopards in NBL D1 and now Solent Kestrels.Having always wanted to use basketball as a tool to give back to his community, Jackman has set up his own business coaching younger players to help the next generation.Timestamps:00:00 Intro02:09 Interview start02:44 How Orlan first started playing basketball05:09 Players that Orlan looked up to when first playing06:35 How much natural ability he had versus having to work on his skills07:09 The different competitions he was playing in08:30 Junior career memories09:29 His formative years and the impact of Joe White11:07 When he set his sights on the States14:09 The other talented players of his generation15:08 How the move to the US came about for prep school16:19 The transition to California from London17:46 His numbers in high school18:44 The recruiting process20:17 Playing in Manchester for a year after high school23:21 Returning to the US to JUCO after his year in England26:14 Getting to play with Joe Ikhinmwin at Seminole State27:11 Breaking his foot and becoming aware of eligiblity issues35:19 His crazy dunk at OKC University35:58 Standout memories from college39:45 How he felt about signing in London for his rookie year44:33 Getting called up to the GB Senior Men in the summer of 201356:17 How he felt about returning to the BBL with Worcester after being abroad57:19 Signing with Cheshire and their BBL Cup run1:01:37 His time with the London City Royals1:06:00 His evaluation on the first London City Royals season1:07:40 People rooting against the Royals1:11:14 The communication from ownership when things started getting shaky1:13:49 The players' reaction to knowing the club was folding1:16:45 Signing with Solent this season1:17:56 Solent being so dominant in NBL Division 11:20:11 Playing for friend Matt Guymon1:21:50 How many years playing Orlan has left1:22:34 Almost signing for London Lions this season1:23:48 Signing for Solent despite it being less money than London and a commute away1:24:52 Rooting for the Lions' success1:27:00 His thoughts on the state of British basketball1:30:15 His favourite basketball memory1:31:55 Best coadch he's every played for1:33:16 Best Brtish player he's played with or against1:33:50 Best invidivual performance he's witnessed1:34:58 The future, where he wants to be in the next 3-5 yearsThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.
Being a late bloomer on his way to a successful pro career - with Taiwo Badmus - Ep. 97
Mar 26 2021
Being a late bloomer on his way to a successful pro career - with Taiwo Badmus - Ep. 97
For Episode 97 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with 3-year pro and Ireland Senior international Taiwo Badmus.Badmus did not start playing until he was 16 years old, under the legendary Mike Cartey in South London, before attending Hackney Community College. After struggling to get to the US, and enrolling at the University of West London, Badmus exploded onto the scene in the summer of 2014 with a strong showing at Midnight Madness, eventually leading to a scholarship to Fairmont State, one of the top NCAA Division 2 programmes in the US.After a season and a half of barely playing, Badmus transferred to UVA Wise for his final two years, putting up crazy numbers as he averaged 20 and 10 to seize the opportunity, turning pro in 2018-19 in Spain, where he led his side Marin to LEB Gold promotion, and has played in Spain's second Division ever since. Timestamps:00:00 Intro03:18 Interview start03:35 How Taiwo first picked up a basketball05:27 What made him move to Ireland as a 5 year old and his history there06:29 Learning the game under Mike Carty in South London08:26 His progression with playing National League10:53 Being under the radar and the moment he felt he had a future in the sport13:54 Blowing up in the summer of 2014 and what he had been doing before going to the US15:49 Doing a year at the University of West London in 2013-14 and how he stayed sharp17:39 Whether he ever questioned whether basketball was the right path for him19:09 The players in London who helped him on his path before heading to the US21:06 The players from around his generation that he was looking up to or going against growing up22:44 What the process was to end up in the US at Fairmont State25:14 Going Division II as opposed to NCAA Division I26:26 The transition of going to the US from the UK28:39 Whether the transition was challenging just athletically/physically or also skill-wise29:45 How long the transition took30:59 Not getting a chance to play a lot at Fairmont State33:14 Memories from Fairmont State35:19 Finding somewhere to transfer to without having played a lot36:37 The transition to a new school in UVA Wise37:37 Putting up crazy numbers at UVA Wise after not playing for 2 seasons39:32 If he still had one eye on turning pro whilst at college40:34 Dropping 38 points on his previous school when they played each other44:16 His standout memories from UVA Wise45:36 The process of turning pro47:32 The options on the table for his rookie year48:44 Transition to pro life from college life51:34 Whether he had to adapt his game for pro life compared to college52:44 The cultural transition to Spain54:33 His rookie season with Marin and earning promotion to LEB Gold57:00 Making the decision to re-sign with Marin for his second year in the pros58:29 The gap between LEB Silver, LEB Gold and the ACB1:00:26 His second season being cut short by COVID-191:02:29 Being back in London for lockdown in the Summer of 20201:04:34 This season with Coruna 1:06:29 Representing the Ireland national team in the summer of 20181:08:36 His thoughts on FIBA 3x3 having played in it and its potential for the future1:10:25 His favourite basketball memory1:11:41 Best British player he's played with or against1:12:14 Best coach he's played for1:12:57 Best individual performance he's ever witnessed1:13:49 Taiwo's future aspirations for the next 3-5 yearsThe show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.You can support Hoopsfix’s work in helping to grow British basketball on Patreon.