For Episode 40 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with reigning British Basketball League (BBL) MVP, London Lions and GB guard Justin Robinson.
Robinson is one of Jimmy Rogers’ protégés out of the heralded Brixton Topcats programme, and one of the greatest players of his generation.
Having left the UK at 16 to attend High School in the US, the 6’2″ guard ultimately ended up at Blair Academy (not before a couple of stops elsewhere, which you will hear all about!) before attending NCAA Division 1 school Rider on a four year scholarship.
Since turning pro in 2011, Robinson has played in Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, Ukraine, Slovenia, Hungary, and France before returning to the UK for the 2017-18, being one of the first British players in recent years to make the switch to playing domestically despite having offers abroad. He was named BBL MVP at the end of his first season after leading London Lions to their best ever league finish.
In this 90 minute episode, hear from Justin on:
– His thoughts on the London Lions’ early season (at which point they were 5-1)
– The London City Royals and whether or not he feels they have stolen the Lions’ shine
– What made him decide to come back to the UK and play in the BBL
– Winning the MVP award in his inaugural season in the BBL
– How having young children has changed his outlook on life
– Growing up on Cowley Estate in Brixton
– His mentality growing up that allowed him to pursue his dreams
– The first time he met Jimmy Rogers, his relationship with him and his memories of him
– How he first got to the US after Jimmy saw an opportunity when Matthew Bryan-Amaning was being recruited
– When he first got put into a Senior game against Hackney as a Junior with Brixton
– His famous 71-point game as an Under-18 against Thames Valley
– His generation of hoopers that had talent
– How he ended up having to escape from his first experience at a high school in Virginia
– Dealing with the transition to the US and his thoughts on the competitive mentality
– His time at Blair Academy under Joe Mantegna
– The recruitment process and when the US colleges came knocking
– His time in at Rider and why he wishes he was held more accountable
– The process of turning pro and signing with an agent
– Advice he would give to a player graduating from college now
– Whether or not he has an eye on what’s next when he decides to retire
– His international career and the GB programme in the run up to 2012
– How he found out he wasn’t going to be involved with the London 2012 Olympic programme
– Why he feels you could argue basketball in Britain has got worse since the Olympics
– The current state of the BBL
– Why the Lions need to do to fill the Copper Box
– Advice he would give to young players who want to be where he is now
– And much, much more!
As always, I’d love to get your feedback, come back after you’ve listened and lets get some discussion going in the comments.
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welcome to another episode of the who's fix podcast with me a host Sam needs a full-time British possible advocate I hope you're doing well thank you so much for tuning in thank you so much for the feedback on last week's show the first one in the studio with BBF chair ed Warner as you all know if you've listened to it the audio wasn't great he was a little bit too far away from the mic and that is something that I'm continuing to iterate and improve on hopefully over time but unfortunately did he tell you in this quick intro the audio was not as good as it could have been and I ended up messing up as I get my head around this the new technical equipment and unfortunately I selected the input from my laptop not the mics so you should hear quite a difference in sound quality between this introduction and the actual interview and that will explain why I have messed with you levels a little bit so I mean you can't hear it it's just not a great quality as it could be so yeah like hopefully that'll be the last time I do that and over time the quality should continue to improve before we do get into the show as always do a quick sponsorship message if you'd like and support and value the work that we're doing with hoops fix please consider supporting us on patreon if you go to patreon.com/scishow as patr Eoin calm for such hoops fix on there is a it's a supporters website to be able to support the creators that you that you want allows us to go directly to our audience to you and ask if you would be willing to give as small as a little little or as much as you'd like every single month to help support the work that we do so we can become a huntress an independent and sustainable and not have to rely on freelance contracts and other methods of income to be able to sustain our work so yeah check it out and if you would be willing to support us it would be hugely hugely appreciated anyway this week's show is with bbl MVP london lions and GB god Justin Robertson he has been on the wanted list for so long he's been requested by a lot of people and it's someone that I really really enjoyed talking to we spoke about his career all the way from the early days in Brixton through until now so yeah there's a lot of interesting insight which I think a lot of people can get um a ton of value from so yeah have a listen let me know what you think as always you can email me Santa who's fix com reach me out on reach out to me on all social media platforms at hoops fix and if you do have a quick second you get onto iTunes to give us a rating and reviewer be hugely appreciated to help us continue to spread the podcast far and wide if you're watching on YouTube leave a let me know what you think and yeah you can find us on all your platforms and we'd love to hear from you so yeah that's not for me here is this week's show with me and Justin Roberson Justin welcome to the show thank you obviously peer practice this morning you know how how's it going London lines this season let's talk about this year yeah so far it's going ok um wait 501 now I think we came up with stupid lost the Plymouth which hopefully won't come back to us but I mean school football you know um I think the guys are still trying to figure each other out you know I'm trying to get their own core chemistry but um it's cool I mean you know everyone gets along everyone's hungry I'm everyone on the same page and we were just tryna win man so so far so good yeah we spoke about this uh I think it was your first first time having a season when I came down um but it kind of felt like London lines were under the radar this offseason obviously I made some moves and signed a couple really good players meanwhile your your your rivals Safford a river I've been getting all the love you know do you feel all that lines have been overlooked a little bit coming into this season um I will release it over looks I mean fellow people would you know the new team starting up this exciting no obviously back in the day there was a team in Crystal Palace and ours you know let me see rows of combat and it kind of filled that void you know something a lot people excited about that well I mean me personally I don't see as being overlooked I think people are excited about the potential of lungs heroes you know which is fair you know um hello big names and big sigh knees and a lot of um people that they're used to or not familiar with that I involved you know so yeah yeah I mean I don't take it personally you know sports you know so obviously you Yury sign with London before the announcement of the Royals franchise do you think there would have been any chance that we were seeing you soon up with rules if you hadn't some other lines already um chance I mean I mean I need a lot less guys your boys right yeah I mean well you know I'm not personally I don't sign because my boys on the team you know I'm sad were uncomfortable and um I think for me you know that the first year was a good year a lot of unfinished business you know you know because the finals in velocity we came up short and there's a lot of things that I haven't achieved yet you know so I'm not gonna be the easy way out or a cop-out just a jump ship you know so I mean I'm comfortable where I am you know obviously at any day is still of business you know I know you know when you start talking about contracts and you know the money involved that changes things but I mean I was up now I'm comfortable you know um it caught me and me invincible great understand Ian you know you got a really good relationship so I mean it only safe ain't broke don't fix it no so yeah you know talking about that transition for you to come home last year it was it was big news to have you know you back and I think it refers them some level you one of the first sort British starts to come home you know why did you decide to come home what were the fact is that this offer and make that decision um I mean it's tough man I mean they look you don't understand that we're not always away from your family and friends you know you kinda isolated you know libel always it's all 16 so that's like almost half my life you know um so I've been in Europe you know being in a different country you know you know was treated the right way you know sometimes when I get paid on time what do you think that play is go for Europe and also you know about two young kids you know my son's three and my daughter's one so you know going up and down every young leave in them and know that the whole emotional thing you know at the airport your son screaming his head off you know it's too much you know and others for it's time to come home and get my life started man you know start trying to get a mortgage start paying taxes you know this becoming a normal civilian gonna cooler I don't know start setting up things for long term and off the court you know so when your way you're kind of out of sight out of mind you know you can't really do anything you know so I thought it was a great time and Vince came at a time where you know he was kind of thinking the same thing but he approached me and you know you could buffer so you know it's had to take it yeah when when you came into the league you know obviously know now that you ended up as MVP I think that was a probably story of the year last season for sure did you think that that was a potential possibility coming in was it on your mind at all was it and then when you when you found that was it complete surprise um dress it really wasn't my mind at all I mean um in my mind no of the channel championship I know that knows me they know that only play for personal accolades and I don't you like the attention or spot that I just distract the play man you know this player in the flow defense help my teammates and this is paper basket boring I love that you know I happened to be named MVP they also helped that we finished in second place you know which was their highest highest finishing who knows what he told me I'm actually got a cool on the way back from Glasgow maybe Glasgow um on the road and semi finals but someone from the BPO called me and all that oh you know when I'll shoot good questions blah blah blah and end of it he was that oh it's only you know that you are MVP and then I think he expected me to be excited yeah I guess then oh okay it didn't really mean nothing to me you know um and that's not that's not disrespect this but yeah or downplay anything but you know you're about winning yeah you wanted miles we were to find one we lost you know convincingly so all the other stuff is is is irrelevant you know it's um Tamizh it's a void or would you know I would sound grateful and you know I'm appreciative that people voted for me and the coaches voted to me and stuff like that but in a day you know we're nothing this it's pointless you know I mean that's us man Italian and the way I was brought so you know coming back to the UK you know I'm sure you probably had a perception of the league before you joined it you know people tend to enjoy jumping on it and criticizing it I've done plenty of criticism in my part in the past as well so on you know I'm one of them you know how in terms of your perception coming in how did the actual reality meet your perception whether things you were pleasantly surprised about whether things you were actually disappointed about um kind of yeah marry the to talk about kind of the differences I'll be honest like before I signed you know granddaddy was our PPO you know I don't want to ever see you in the BPO and not until your old man and blah blah blah so Carmelina I didn't think the level be that high about that she surprised through how high in levels you know obviously snow is high and some of the other League Greece France Turkey all those countries well you know a lot people sleep on the video and they think that when you come here this is one of your cake walkins it's not that no um the one thing that was disappointing is this like just that the whole output man that the management really write the whole schedule in and then that players will play that back to backs and I have a game for two weeks just it's just like there's no organization it's just a random schedule a form at play that was ample we paid Glasgow twice and haven't played majority of the league you know is this it's just not very smart you know then our leagues you ever a round one and the next round is the same order and third round same order and then playoffs would be the best of three you know come on that kind of a game where you're having a tied score in boxing more know me tiger glossy on the first round and people across the water that well is this a tied score you know so just it nice on little tweaks and and I'm not sure who's at the top of the few chain in the bureau but you know those kind of people you know about basketball you know and how it should run you know so it's small things you know it's not anything too major but I mean one of the things that I now and you know we can start getting that respect for my beliefs and start progressing you know I think that yeah I think a lot of that is down to the facilities ultimately it comes down to actually getting the venues I think there's a lot of difficulties around there obviously bail ability and when then when we get to a place obviously Eagles got air arena coming up less they've got there's you know we'll star this place is now that have got their own and that's changing things um but it still needs the rest of the league to be in the same situation you know I know that obviously the copper box you'll have times when there's big events and Vince can't get in there and you can't have a game for whatever reason and you've got to do it you know on a random day so yeah there are struggles for sure no I agree with that are you I mean it you pretty set here now you're thinking you're gonna be in the UK for rest your career like yeah I mean I said young son young door and to leave now would be that would be traumatic for that me okay I used to see him every day wake up see me took my son to knows who you picking them up I mean this I get crazy off all that 20,000 a month from Saudi Arabia you know it's just not feasible you know and you'd have to the pros and cons would have to wait some crazy you know yeah yeah I you know obviously I'm following on social media you know and I see that you're very much family man you know how much does that change your approach to life having kids your approach to basket we approached your career how would you say your your mindset is whether it's changed from before and now I think for me it's just under started to see things put I'm time to do things for my kids you know I don't we care about myself if that made sense I kept on myself while everything I'm doing it's not putting it in place or when they're of age you know they can grow up and you can have things or savings or properties you know mr. Sun have a better childhood and I had you know so many get to age it's not that all what God you know it can be all you know my dad set this up for me and I've got options knocking all this way or that way but yeah I mean for me it just it just helped me become more focused really more determined and this want me to work harder yeah you know that just to know that I've got two little human beings depending on me you know so yeah I want to rewind right back to the start you know I'd love to kind of go through your career from day one and I guess you know what the earliest place to start is your upbringing where you're raised you know you're a very proud Brixton boy so can you talk about kind of where you grew up what it was like growing up and and then I guess the transition into how you first picked up a basketball from carly's there um obviously in Brixton um see I mean tough area I mean especially back then you know what's that like early mid nineties they – early nineties I 2000s you know when Britain was had a big rep and you know people used to say this and say that I mean it was tough it was tough from you know a lot of drugs crime you name it you know I mean I don't have a story that's special like like no one else had been true and I'm saying so I'm gonna sit here so I was like you know what you know it was tough about the same time you know maybe had that community you know like the holy state everyone knew each other then you got your mom's friends you know your older brothers his friends you know so it was kind of a big community even though you know all of us we were poor you know you can't afford this can't afford that we had a trouble you know my brother and my sister you know my mom was there you know my dad was down the road in stock row so I mean as bad as it was you know we still had each other and he was a I mean well okay I had a great childhood no no going outside playing up/down ginger you know that you know the normal thing that you know you do growing up you know obviously there's this stuff that has happened you know trends by friends I'm my best friend in Joe for life you know you know you know on family you know you have that people drugs or selling drugs or ever but no at the same time you know these things happens like you know you go through phases you go a few things and just usual be um strong-minded enough just not to get caught in the trap you know and not get pulled in by society as such you know and I mean for me I always had that mentality line will it be someone you know that there's no way I'm gonna end up like so and so all that so and so and I used a lot of all the people in my era as examples you know uh-huh kinda black in walk on people he's doing and it wasn't or gonna wrap my simple birthday my older brother boom your um Michael Jordan poster and like I had what's possible before but I wasn't really crazy by it they brought me to post another huh yeah I start watching and then I had to go on my state me and my friends bossy wore shoe against the wall shootings anything you could find no we were use it as a basket um I mean yeah and then my dad I think he kind of saw okay I came to that he's interested in this you know you love this I'm in the house crying my mom crazy you know friend of a friend of war friend of war wars and stuff so he took me down to Brixton and um yeah I mean I never forget my first day when I walked in you know the main doors when you walk in yeah and it's to cook that that core close to the door we walk in and junior standing right there and walk over my dance it was almost like I'm in order that common Jerry we but you don't see that that lady's face yeah having that keep my head down without so scared so nervous my dad was talking to junior is his is his deep voice that and he's like oh okay my dad's like yeah you know my son's interested blah blah blah and it's okay come back on a Wednesday it was a Friday to come up in on Wednesday and then came back on a Wednesday and then yeah the rest is history and ever since then you kind of just get sucked in you know you know the whole sense of community you know one big family you got all the boys all the girls treating like the younger brother or their child you know so this is it's not even put into words you know that the whole the whole dynamic of the person Topcats but yeah ever since then so you the first time you join the top cat food that was when you're seven or eight oh okay yeah I mean obviously um you know I mentioned you beforehand it uh you know I'd love to talk about Jimmy I try to be passed away a couple of weeks ago now obviously a huge part of your life and massively massively influential in your career you know what would you say about sort of your relationship with him and and you know things that he taught you will showed you kind of over the years I mean why it's hard to put into words you know I mean Jimmy was that well I mean it's hard man I mean it's hard to even describe it you know um I was was very very very close who is in constant constant contact he knows in America you came to my graduation if you are you told me was coming out uh just talking I'm a notary just pulled up in a cab and jumped up my family started laughing and but yeah I mean always in contact even I was in America I was in Europe always call me send the email and it was always um like he always had dances that made sense you know like when you speak to someone he had the ability to kind of I mean I'm gonna speaking myself a happy for everyone he had the ability to make me feel like everything was fine don't worry about it it's gonna be cool and I think the biggest thing I learned from him is that grown-up he/she can installed that um and I put it like a militant mindset you know like nothing can stop you know no matter where is you can do it you know that I love you won't work assume you say that if there's a brick wall run that's kind of neat to us it kinda just pushes you mentally that and physically to the edge whether you want to quit like it's all retired I mean I'll go home tomahawk I forget Brixton I'm getting back there Jimmy this Jimmy that and the next day you go back there like I'm saying so it was it yeah man it was it like I said it's tough to even put into words but he was he was everything man I'm saying everything they were everything to me this other person the coach at a friend's a mentor father Africa you know um I mean without him he knows I'd be dead prison homeless who knows insane on drugs you know so I mean it's all the possible oh everything Jim you know everything you know that Hickey he he definitely lit that fire underneath me you know um love you say you're too small you can't look at America in addition that well no it's funny because I'm told of people this one when um when a scout came to see Matt Matthew Brian Scott from UConn see Matt if you wanted a big man of God but what a big man you didn't he come for the God so uh man is I'm his mom who dare me in the car and Jimmy distract me alone Tom I want to come and just like they see like interrupted me of that okay we go God here and basically like forced him to find me a school it's us Matthew you tell you I wasn't supposed to go didn't saying that I was good enough to go but you're nothing self for me to go to America he just like sat down okay you got him to school but what about him now you know that's the type of guy he wasn't on and that's the belief he had in me man and to be honest II it's it's a hard time for me um mentally just trying to get over it no emotion he I've been all over the place you know but I know him he wouldn't want me or us to two more one and you know and cry and stuff you know she's nothing wrong with that if I'm crying but I know you you want me to use it as fuel you know I just keep persevere and keep working hard you know so yeah yeah for sure I mean it's it's been incredible for me watching you know somewhat of an outsider to the briefs on top gets family over the last couple of weeks and the outpouring of love rim and everything else has just been I mean just realize the legacy and the impact that you as will go on for for so long so long there any particular stories the stick out in your mind when you think of Jimmy whether it's whether it be a lesson whether it be I don't know something that kind of yeah it's resonating with you and you carry carry with you today and then forget I mean three other so many stories but yeah I don't want to say people's names and yeah you know embarrass people and what I remember flat for me um I never get I was about 12 years old and we had a cadet game which is like under 16 back in the day with that space and the next game after us was 2006 yeah under 16 no sir under 18 game and obviously had called all the guys so he was Brixton in person why he which is like a huge were driving back then and I'm after the cadet game everyone went home but you're gonna told me to stay back then anyone knew me I was tiny I was like a midget I said no because you're staying somehow I was gonna run so he basically was gonna put me in the game that he just mean that kids hanging off of me and he before he gave me some United okay what about nothing you know I'm gonna be fine no I know you're nervous and I'm like I'm about to cry I'm so everything that I'm worried I ain't gonna be fine I've got faith in you and trust in you I need you put me in the game and I was breaking their why he pressing Joe we're trapped in and and I'll decide after game others that for me as panel when it started to click around saying know what I can actually do something with this and I'm saying enough actually tape is somewhere you know and the fact that he had that faith in me you know I was 12 years old play on 18th with Giants you know the fact that he had that that faith in me it was that wow this guy he believes him you know and then I think that's when you can uh I wouldn't yeah I'll say give me that special treatment you know that you wouldn't shine at me all the time you know that we kind of had that okay I know he wants now you know come before know anyone knows Jimmy Jim it's on you like it's a lot I know chance to breathe I'm saying that he holds everyone to a certain standard I was it was that at twelve thirteen area where varying age where he kind of okay this this kid can be something you know I kind of like nurtured it you know instead of just at me you know so yeah which I was gonna ask like it at what moment did you realize that you know this is a thing that you really want to go after and pursue would you say that that was that was the point um that will depend wherever it has that I could do it okay well um I mean for me it started with I started straight away I mean that when I first started playing on like a year or two in in every time would older guys come back in states you know that rough from ready all these things and I'm seeing these guys I'm not armed and all the do this you guys coming back with their white cheese and Tim's and America seems cool you know um so yeah I mean straight away you know straight away ago signed I want to do but you weren't or around that time where I started believing in myself you know that I could do this you know so yeah you dreamy a possible career in England before before you left there's one game that everyone talks about which is the seventy was a seventy was a seventy two point seventy one was his 71 okay there was a few sort of London lines under-18s everyone like a couple of weeks ago and had a couple of issues that were like it wasn't like Justin Justin's was against legit competition but yeah what yeah like kind of huh I think I remember some I'm a year older than you I think I'm sure I remember growing up and and it kind of get a nice one on the south east coast and I'm sure it sort of got down on samus it iced tickle justice in or whatever what your memories are to get with that game what what competition was it in and he was against and kind of like yeah what'd he tell us about it um I don't know what a big it was I figure I'm sure it was 18 so see under 18 under 18 under 18 so yeah I was playing tamarins Valley okay but back then it was like capitals why he eats London Royals was their team sub team and I can't man Colchester coaches Essex Essex yeah anyway yeah my life yeah um Matt Gavin's team okay I didn't yet left were the oven well I just remember the brothers and I'm making everything in game and back then I couldn't really shoot at it you know um it was all athleticism get the basket finishing you know that I was pre-surgery three injuries you know um but yeah I mean I said I mean none of the same age I think there wasn't no pressure from Jimmy no more like it was no shower and he just gave me the keys said basically do what you want you know I mean which might not be fair to other players um yeah I mean I had like free rein to do anything really and I mean yeah so he wasn't I was happy to score so he won that that um time and I think what was his because I I remember early in the summer I went to call about visa my student visa and I got denied so I was home for that extra two three months and it just anger I was this fear of not going so it's just like an extra incentive to this kind of just go all the way and I mean those games like 60s and fifth at my average 50 Radio playing men's yeah I was like the vision to imagine that ferry or something like that it was it was a sight well I said it was Jimmy that panel gave me that that few you know totally put that fuel to the fire that gogo and they do do your thing you know so yeah who were at that time the other juniors that were kind of coming up that when people were talking about who the top young guys coming from see you were one of them I'd assume that and that was one of them you know who are the other names that and sort your competition that you saw as the other guys that were at your kind of level growing up was full grade who was a that if people saw us pull up 15 and I he was a man-child already um Holloway heat I mean there's the four he's a bit older but daddy brown all those guys were my competition I'm you son Rose fuller Albert with all these guys Joe Randy it was and heard that Matt Guymon yeah and solar Joe freedoms on 80 teams was this so many named I don't know yeah yeah but I feel like there's a lot of time around around age group are you sevens 88 there's a lot names sound clock what he left he left the gossiping he was really one with where I think yeah we're rebels yeah if you were to compare I mean I don't if you get to go to watch a lot of junior basketball now but if you if you were to compare kind of some of the under-18s that you see now compared to the generation what your generation common fruit you know what would you say the difference is if if any no it would be unfair for me to did I critique them I haven't seen enough um but I think there's more talent now I think it's more widespread obviously there's more clubs and there's more opportunities for kids to to train and you know there's better cities so I would say that there's more talent not necessarily saying that they're better players you know because I think the year the what year I think like the generation before me were much well you know Sean grades and that hold Brixton why he ela narrow and OPM fronting all those guys uh for me I think that the golden era main Forbes in Oldham guys and you Sullivan's had you then Tamiya I think I was going there or possible in terms of that junior basketball so it would be fair to yeah and be unfair for me to say these kids this these kids day and haven't watched them haven't done my research on unusual so when you were twelve thirteen years old um in terms of your aspirations like what are you looking at the likes of you know a Jew Pierre whoever or were you looking to the states like who were your role models and and and so where were you looking to get you when you were when you were coming up for me I mean my brothers were this they're all decreasing there's no I said so on they can Marvin Marcus Rashid quadri you know down under center market – amok was really what was night um wow I do this goes on my I'm saying um for me the dole guys were like oh yeah pushing my life they have no man so me man I think even like 11 years old scrimmaging with grown men and they're posting me up pushing me you know slapping me shouting at me I turn over so um for me it was dole guys know that I mean that was that was that the family you know and I mean I said that age twelve thirteen it was just getting to America that was just the main thing you know I mean at that stage books and everyone was flying out each year you know someone was going to state so you're seeing a constant someone come back tell me stories about this and uh so it's constantly getting reinforced in your mind okay this is the place to be you know so yeah man that was the end goal you know to go to Morocco were you representing England juniors at this point like did you do you represent the tool before you left no no no first time play for England was mapping 17 – 18 yeah on 18 – I know you donating to you okay um certainly the move to the States how did that come about yeah like was it that conversation that was the conversation so the coach for UConn was the one who sort out with place I said Jimmy just just drag me along was that oh here's him sort him out what's going on now you just put you put pressure on him you know and he wanted to put me in Matthew in the same school but he didn't have enough spaces and he put me in some I was like uh I don't know what people call it was some school in Virginia which was a hellhole you know about this tell us about what this means when people talk about your high school career everyone always speak to my break at me right but there was a couple of stops before that so um yeah yeah tell us about kind of weapon in Virginia so keep it short so like I was told you know I'll get there you know have my own room so in my mind I'm thinking you know when you think America you I'm thinking like white picket fences you know big house kids playing in the street asking ice cube and all this stuff so as soon as I landed a thematic coach and I just you know I used to meet someone you know it's awful I the whole fire was I just knew something was wrong so I've met him we're driving to practice people that land in DC that two-hour drive to Virginia I'm gonna say one word to each other I know one word the whole time I'm thinking about I want to jump out a highway escape or after punchy means or something you know I'm just trying to think of a escape route you know so yeah we get to the schooling I mean practice and then this new was about this I knew how I was in for it um we weren't Americans like yo man where were you staying I'm staying with the coach and he was that oh man he said a offensive word increasing he said oh um sounds I know what do you mean he's out you see so we're drivin drivin drivin I see us after a flaw I Wasi a sign saying thank you for visiting Virginia so an even state so we left Virginia I'm working towards Virginia and I'm a driving driving driving and the senior starts changing that you know he's getting skating from nice the worse the worst and we put into that the trader pot yeah and you'll be staying in the trailer park and there was another guy Callum Jones miss Manchester he was there and it was two Hungarian kids Wow yeah and um yeah I mean I ain't got too much be over you know those that are close to me did they know the story you know um it was just it was horrible man and I end up leaving there we left there I got there October and I left um December time Christmas time and I go home for Christmas you know CCU's you just was a town and it never came back and then I'm going to stop Kent the Matthew school his his coats see me um this mess for two more yeah I went to South Kent to finish up the year and then the next two years I went to Blair no it's been a while are you still interested in got to Blair um yeah of course that it's Blair you know um then yeah I finished up the two years up there so it's Matthew at South Kent when you were there you were there together yeah oh wow so that must have been like pretty amazing for you guys definitely helpful you know um obviously we brought up together you know from Brixton program so have a familiar face there was it was cool you know yeah so aside from you know the living conditions the basketball you know the transition from from the UK to the states what we do remember why are your memories of you know the differences in the basketball kind of what your first impressions were how you settled in like was it a case of well you're in England maybe averaging 15 under 18 so that's high school how was it you know um I mean the biggest thing for me was everyone did a flick like in England that when I was young I used to blow by everyone you know get the basket no shot blocker it was just it was easy you know and then I think in England especially that when you're young when you have a rep kids kind of like they fear you you know it's uh it's so-and-so or they're scared to press you or Center College attire whereas the America they do not care that you could be my girls with American NBA all-star never a full-court press you trap you so I just think Americans have a different mentality to sports you know it's not I think England's about you know like I remember being in primary school and sports videos it's not about winning it's about taking pot Americans they'll have the under fire baseball league parents will be there you know they take it it's a serious thing though so it's a whole different Ally and then when you get there it's kind of that wall like relax my ladder but then you obviously see what you you swim on you think you know so you thought that you know you can't have to be a doctor mentally and um just give me right back you know so they probably took me that that the first year was tough you know I struggled in I think that my next two years I started coming into myself and no um just competing in a high level you know Blair what was that like kind of reflect on those two years that you out there Blair was was amazing my um my coach Joe Mantegna he was he was the world's coach as well um something as soon as I came there it was like instant connection you know um you know he knew Jimmy you know him and jr. had a relationship and he was he was excited to have me there you know and straightaway he treated me like his son you know even to this day you got a really great relationship you know we always talk close to his family his kids you know and he made my time their special man and it was just the whole Blair community you know um has some great teammates that's they will speak to you know this door some of my closest friends you know every time I go back there the teachers will show me love you know it's just a great place and a great place to go to school it's someone that can never utopia like a bubble you know and it's it's sad because when you leave that but when you go to college you into university you start sat down you know I had something great back then you know and then you go to college and everyone's kind of in it for their own on gaining on becomes a business but Bob Blair was great man you know three years in a row we lost in state state championship finals unfortunately um and yeah I mean I had a good career there you know so at what point did the colleges come knocking you know talk to us about a recruitment process so it always fascinates me because we see it in the movies you know he got game and it's just all this craziness you know when did the colleges come kind of who was come in yeah how are you dealing with it um Fitness started be honest she's not gonna live right away but everyone gets theirs you know at first when you see your that are us also well in some little s typed out sent to thousands of rooms just replaces you yeah well then where was it I think it was my junior year that's when school started lat Brian Henry litters and I trying to fix some of the schools are a lot alike 810 schools at UMass sent duis I know Duke King down you know my poster now I know check this guy out he was a lot of like Duquesne yeah a lot like mid-major schools trying to think some of the bigger schools when you start again the offers do you remember thinking that long I'm good I've got a scholarship like it was the first one off my level my first offer I don't actually remember you know but I even well it was a um Eastern Invitational and I should be heard of that no it's a camp in New Jersey um old school come I'm not sure he still goes on but um Eastern like her it's a jungle mind that guys gather coming up to you taking the wolf rickety me it's common taking a bull from that they wanted to get my saying so it's one of them places where it's hard to shine yeah and it's hard to do it without seeming very selfish yeah but I think I think it was um not even Ryder you know that that bothered me first I really was around talking good rider it was one it was a school smaller school in New Jersey or East course my view lights and peers or running schools but um you know what made me so bad you know but I had a lot of it yeah a few big schools but you know they'll say yeah you have to come there and you have to red shirt or oh yeah when you won't play into your sophomore year so I just myself it's better to be a big fish in a small pond you know and um I took that I took three bit it'll be equal to u mass st. Louis and Ryder and San Luis was saying oh you know we got senior point guard you know you might have pretty much a freshman yeah and then on the visit it was good but I said me I'm more about the vibe I get from people and if ain't right then it's not right you know yeah so I mean you must have kind of saying the same thing and then we've rather they were saying you know you come in stop four years right away you know we give you the key to the team you know you guarantee you have a great career here blah blah blah and then also I was staying in state you know I didn't want to leave New Jersey or didn't leave chief off my coach right he's gonna come and see me play a game or that bond you know would have been weakened you know so um I just chose chose right now and then they kept their promise you know freshman year came and started and pretty much tied every game that yeah yeah okay there might be that two games yeah we got coming up injury or all I've seen in that you know stuff like that well yeah they kept their promise and you know I worked up when you look back on on your college career um you know at that time we were doing a Britain College recap every single week and you know you were pretty much one of the top performers every single week um you know how do you how do you look back on on that on that period and how do you reflect on your time Ryder um yeah I mean rather was was cool man I mean I wish that I was coached a bit harder you know in terms of what being pushed yeah yeah um I wouldn't say that I don't know I wouldn't say that to play harder I just mean like being held accountable more you know um a lot maybe who knows it's hard to calibrate into words what like my practical coach came to one game and he was like what the hell are you doing that what do you mean a huge like nitpicking on all the things that was going wrong and then but no one was telling me I was doing it wrong you know so it's the stuff that I wasn't used to getting away with that I was used to used to that was getting away with in the other of their letting me get away with it but I mean in individually I feel I've had a good career you know looking at that 1,400 1,500 points I think I was that top 10 points top 3 in assists at all time you know three point visit percentage where stuff my first team Mac my senior Metro team so I had a good career um but at the same time you know we didn't win nothing you know my freshman year we finished first in the Mac and then we lost in the conference tournament finals and they my sophomore year lost in the semis and junior was fine order so you know always kind of coming up short and it's just that was great I've not ever going to the NC double-a tournament you know but a black individual yeah I had a good career especially my my last few years I panic picked up and you know kind of came into my own well yeah I enjoyed my time you know I said I made some lifelong friends and I mean some pace that could always go back to you and go to visit or to work hard you know so yeah I mean I will try to leave behind good relationships you know people so how did you find balancing your studies with with with basketball know there's some people to say to me that when they get to the state's they're surprised that actually the college education is a lot easier than in the UK but yeah what were your memories of it um to be honest coming from Blair College was a cakewalk yeah because I Blair was a very academic school and I mean I've always a visa my D so C so I'm not stupid you know yeah but that going to America the schoolwork is that it was this ridiculous man that it's so easy yeah you know they've got that more pro-choice stuff and you know it's just like it's if you can't pass that you just lazy man yeah this is lazy and you just don't need to work but in college it was fine I mean it's just about organizing your time you know uh me I'm a mom I'm not a last minute guy you know I've been alive real ad online trying to do your paper or up to like free for the morning but I got it done you know I'm I finished like a B average you know and I wasn't even trying I would even like focus on school I'll just do enough to get by you know yeah um but yeah it was easy man easy easy yeah at what point um well we we always confident that you were gonna end up having professional career or was there a point at college where you're like okay this is now reality like I feel like I'm pretty much there now it's gonna happen always there never any doubt um I think it's always doubt you know I think at each level will be of careerist there's doubt like for example when when I was here there was doubt about going to America I was in America there was doubt about getting at the US photo shoot you got a d1 scholarship I'm in this dowel bar if you're if you can pay a pro so I think if you don't have any doubt you kind of sing yourself up for failure you know you kind of always have to have that that um sense of uncertainty you know to kind of keep you on your toes you know but it was probably my junior year to be honest I mean I always wanted to play it professionally but it 20 my junior year we're outside putting up big numbers and stuff okay that I can do this and then my senior year I was supposed to go to Portland invitation and then somehow you know my culture still tell me oh yeah I'm speaking to the guys there and blah blah blahdy like you and this came out because at top 64 seniors yeah did this came out and my name was on it you know and there's guys that are from mid major conferences averaging like 7 points 8 points and in math math day is calling me that the old man she was here know this guy's here that aren't even good you know so um for me it was a bit was a bit of a bittersweet you know that roller hop I'm not there you know I'm not good enough you know average 15 hours and force is my senior team finished in second place and all these so what I mean it's probably control those things you know well I mean my senior year and I knew it was pretty much a done deal you know so she ought that sounded we were agent and he was saying this team that team is contacting him about you so yeah I mean but yeah for me it's always good time a little bit of uncertainty to kind of keep you on your toes yeah in case things do do go bad you know you're prepared for instead of just saying I'm gonna be I'm gonna make it there's no level of satisfaction if there's no difficulty right that's like you gotta be all the growth constant beyond your comfort zone I mean so when you when approached that I've started coming around like the process of signing of an agent you know how did you decided to sign with why do you sign with the agent that you signed with and kind of you know what professional teams were looking at you and how did you make a decision on on where to go sound we will go Mary or Scotty okay I know Mary yeah yeah it was a if you remember the agency two points yeah and that a bunch GP guys at one yeah yeah and that was um I was young I thought the only young gown do you be a pop of doubt o'clock forget what year was it might be like 2009 and was in Turkey and didn't have that do you think he had the time Nick George Kieran Achara Flynn the Boyd and someone else and there others like your man no Mary okie was talking about you you know he wants to represent you borrower blah sounds ok cool you know and then I kind of I kind of kept the relationship strong you know for my last two years and there was a bunch of agents you know contacting me you know Sam you know the wild agent the time with him um the fire battle go from from my Australia was no he actually cared you know he felt the states and you know it came up we had a meal and he spoke to me and he's kept it real you know he told me what the deal was just felt comfortable he knows okay I'll order about 20 plus agents are messaging me he's only guy that I know that someone knows can vouch for me know so but that's what I had yeah the base my decision off you know so this one with him and then he got me a good offer who's in Greece it's a short-lived one increase okay here you know how that goes you know peace it was uh I mean I was excited are you know 81 degrees top level in PR course all these teen Panathinaikos and then when I got there there was a whole American there and he was just like as soon as he landed he he was just seeing all the red flags but obviously I'm not seeing it for this my first year yeah I'm just excited to be there yeah and then come come to find out there's no money there's no money so I think Michael job was like 20 days they don't pay you you can sell another ten days you can leave so our team to hit me up and the team in Cyprus I had this bounce so you know get a single paycheck from them no member that maybe like half my paycheck yeah well science TV another I mean they kept kept this dragging her along hard tomorrow to know what money's coming you know TV rights and all these this childhood mister on the like keeping their yeah yeah yeah so you got a rude introduction so pro-life in Europe and in American life and shortly after I left and then yeah that's what the Cyprus and it was it was a little sweet there you know first day you get an apartment phone money you know it was cool man you know the everyone seems to have stories about you know fro life in Europe you know you pay in a lot of places now joining all the countries was Greek Greece Cyprus Hungary Ukraine Ukraine you did a short stint in Slovenia as well yeah Sweden France tell us about serene because that was with a Euro Cup yeah yeah so they send the contract yeah and everything was good and the money was good all the terms were good but it was something that kind of caught up God so he said he said team will help player find a 2-bedroom apartment so I told my I don't know what do you mean help it should say provide yeah so he messes the people in fear was that your was this than oh don't worry no this is this is down to UM Slovenian taxes and Barbara so that I have cool so we get there they put in the hotel five-star hotel was I found out that the team had a sponsored they weren't paying for it okay um so Renault toe and then I find out that they're not providing our food in the hotel so I'm now okay no laughter you have to provide a stream until you give us our apartments you know did this is standard procedure so that threw me off and I'd like a younger um Serbian guy staying in hotel with me a different room but same hotel and then he went to go and see his apartment and his apartment was like the worst when I was seen the worst worse than the tried pot oh yeah kitchen the cupboard kitchen door hanging off and like mismatched flooring and it was just a mess so he he came back I'm not taking him I'm taking it the next day they took him to see a place Bob no well he didn't tell me but he knew how to influence him I say don't take that so you came into hotels on your mind and making me take this hotel they make me take this apartment okay cool so each day I mean I'm in the locker room speaking with her Slovenian guys and they're like yo haven't been paid since last year and blah blah blah blah so I'm like no there's something not right about this so one of my former team is from Greece he played there when they were Euroleague so hit me up inside yo I heard you the sound with my limp you are that yeah yeah is that Mandy it's told me that 20 K some I love it that was this so then that all these little red flags yeah some like oh man I hope ain't got myself in this situation again so then it's time for me it's time for my apartment now so they're like you know what instead of driving around and showing apartments we're gonna send you some some links and what's up so you sent me um the links for the apartment and I'm like oh man this is nice you know like yeah you know your son can run around it's big no peeking spaces for your somehow cool so he's that oh I'm classy it's only a thousand euros a month some okay coo coo coo some not all but the team take care that is that no no you take her I'm not what so then obviously they've got me now with the contract yeah nobody is the word in me I'm I don't take chances with any wording but they got me nicely so the contract says and it's a miscommunication your agent didn't tell me mama so now it's a big like I'm like I'm back song yo now you gotta of trying to be silly so I told my agent I'm not your auntie cowardice well I'm here my agent but he's not responding he's driving across Europe so he said he ain't got no no Wi-Fi so he said um so um the GM I'm not yo you know I'm not comfortable with this you know this I go my way you go your way he's on oh the coach loves you you know you want to keep you know you know I'm just give me 24 hours just sleep on it I'll fix it BA blah it's a wake up it's the same problem all right yo you know what family I don't like being by laid that I go my way you go your way is that okay um I wrap up a release form but don't worry we let you go I get a release form down there saying they won't free grant I've been there 10 days to saying they want free grant like I say anyone you want money for plasters for from bandages hojun instructions all this stuff so that that affected me going to Greece so now left one degrees David a day before the said you have to pay you pay no no okay a day before dumb you know that each team you have to go and get your was a corner a player car like a license yeah tonight I wasn't office to GM coaches just me in America the regarded to sign the forms over so so the coaches they run out panicking just here not released from Union in pure um that was because they told my Union in Potomac agent that soaring that you know that they are releasing so my agent the cool about that you're saying if he said like 500 and they releasing but he told him at him sending the rest and the overnight arrested him like calling him and y'all need the money man so yeah it was like a dodgy energy situation and so I mean I kept my own flat to get home all that yo I'm out man yeah so that's one of one of the more interesting stories things will get you you like you know and I saw his own oh no what do you mean provide you should say no it's it helped find sir its and help find to employment it should say team will provide you with accommodation 2-bedroom apartment fully furnished free of charge exactly yeah so did you find that you have to you know really go through contracts of a fine because people just try and do there's someone you have to buy really even ten times no really over and over again yes I mean sure take it as an SRT to a lawyer take to someone that works in business you know you can take no chances man cuz these teens will try to track it all it's always the way with these things as well that they almost done they kill you with just so much legal mumbo-jumbo it's actually quite hard to understand is you have to read each point about five times and put it in English to be like I'll that's what that means confuse you man what no you know would you say like as a professional basketball player when you look back on your pro career from where you start and your brookie it to now aside from the contractual side of things were you know maybe some of the biggest things that you've learned that if you were speaking to you know guy comment at college now you're trying to give them a bit of advice and what'd you say boy I would say just chase the money yeah chase the money man trust me cuz that how many times an agent has tricked me and uh you know what don't worry about the money now she's paying this league you know help your resume nah go with it offer you the most money it was this a short window the Bulldog boss ever get your money stack your money and that's it you know like it could be could be anything it could be Qatar China go where the money is because I said it's a short short window man you know all these angels said are you paying this legal but who cares or you believe it's about what you got to show for when you're done you know know what house do you have what investments do you have what what what um high interest accounts or you know don't care that you played in Turkey or Greece and you're getting a grand a month back come on please you can get up get that money one simple as that yeah there's obviously a thing where when people are considering offers in the Middle East or wherever they're always like well the moment you do that that's you're boxed into that and that's what you have to play the rest of the thing but you're saying if you're getting at money still who cares that if they offer you 20 grand stay there yeah please pay there's six seven years come BB ooo nice you know like people get so coop and the thing is that the ages will do it to scare people I don't play here because you know um I believe you won't respect to resume or you get trapped there so uh you know money's good stay there saying well you worried about very anywhere else for if they're taking care of you if they're providing everything you need for you and your families they don't yeah for sure always a always point to Ryan richness you know some people people criticize and say uh he hasn't played reach his potential with done it's like well I actually he's at more money than most people have complained boss recognized no relevance poking me about having I Ryan you loved it yeah I mean well you ain't broke don't fix it know that while you leave you care that you can plead Euroleague or or Greece or Spain like you said he's earned more money than aside from probably the wild pops yeah yeah yeah you know you talk there but you have a short window you know you're just recently ten to thirty one right have you got one eye on con at the end and and and sort of I would guess that you've probably got at least a good five six years left if you if you wanted it kind of what are you thinking in terms of next step I feel like and again correct me if I'm wrong I feel like you know up until the last couple of years always been very low-key not on social and recently your social profiles been growing a little bit and I wonder whether that's because you'll think about the next stage and kind of having some sort of profile to be able to you know whether it's coaching talking you know doing events whatever it might be um see a kind of hat what do you think about that sort the next step I mean like you said I mean God willing Jeffrey I can play I don't know maybe between four and six more years I'll be satisfied with that but yeah I mean for me I'm sorry do you like um mentorship basically you know if you want to call it that um if it involves basketball you know so be it um we're just helping kids you know this is helping kids and gangs kids are coming from tough home situations across the board you know kids the univille bipolar homelessness depression whatever it may be you know I just wanna be in that field of helping people you know and I think that's my calling just to help kids you know kid that problem a similar background you know I come from cause man these kids are here I'm even crazy man you know I'm saying so you know there needs to be a lot more positive role models you know they've come from the same place they've come from as well I think that's important that can be led to them and speed them a certain way you know I'm not speaking down to them on speaking with them yes we can have them so I mean for me you know there's something dump written in place to try and get involved in that field so yeah I mean hopefully about how I'm done I finished nicely slide into that position or transition into it um so yeah are you getting to do anything sort of in that type of field now on the sideway still playing yeah yeah yeah there's a few things that I did with um a guy called Dexter Sims music Instagram we did a youth tournament down in the Regal and also Jason Henley Thunder Eagle yeah me and him was smoking about doing some stuff in the future some like life skills mentorship you know for kids in the Kenyan brixton era so yeah I mean you know there's a few things that you know we're trying to do but I was here it's only early days now but hopefully I said but I'm I'm done I'll be no so finding that one of the things that we we haven't touched one too much but I would love to talk about is chibi and sort of your international career you know you were when when the British basketball program sort of first come around you were like you said earlier one of the young guys with Dan that was involved with a program can you talk about those those I think was a 2009 was your first year I feel like it was around then yeah around that time so you know what were your interactions with a GB program and your memories of it back then and yeah how you'd have you back on sort of that period in particular in the one up to 2012 um GB you put it like I said I mean there's nothing to hide you know keep it robot GB it wasn't really always a positive for me you know like I lose this it was good you know because around you guys and I times a lot of Brixton guys about six of us yeah you know some kind of thick click together you know which is a natural thing you know you you said you need with people that you know you know um but it was a weird one no because I I don't know it's not even describe you know it was that Chris Finch it wasn't the most people person you know you know they him I was there as what assistant yeah Nick knows me as was cool in school but does that the whole I was a McCaskey he was cool as well I can't does another guy one more to lie North American yeah whatever the relationship graphic are certain states it was just some they kind of gave of the the sense that they were above everyone you know and especially like us guys I'm in college you know you'll treat it differently you know like she was shoving her scheming us and then all the guys you know you'd be scared to shower them you know as a coach it's hard to respect you mean you don't hold everyone accountable you know for the same mistakes I was his name Gregg Popovich he's gonna coach Tim Duncan to the top man the same way you know so it's hard to gain people's respect when you don't hold anyone accountable and you only pick it and choose him when you're selling that people you know so it was tough you know gb wasn't it that I mean but now when I was young in GB you didn't really feel wanted you know or needed you just say oh I know another young guy let's bring him on you know did you feel that it did you feel like you've been bullying on some level for them to be able to take that box saying yeah young British guy almost you know and then um yeah it was weird it was weird but it was good to be there you know around the guys playing at high level but like the people were involved I didn't really mess with him like that I live honest you know I opened a mess with me which which is fine you know it was a mutual feeling so um and I was clear from the Olympic you know the Olympic thing whereas I was involved every year and then you know you just choose not to invite me which is fine you know but let me know you know Natalie I'm trying to think so because it was one so there was Eurobasket 2009 right you didn't go did you go to that no no didn't go to that but you were involved in the training there was one year when you were on cut right here as well was that 2011 dollars paid the qualifiers yeah I made that team yeah okay and then yeah after was there another serie he goes 2010 removals european that was the qualifiers because that was only to take that various possible stuff here yeah and you were there yes yeah yeah it was silky so no ending in 2012 you can even get anybody to camp now oh wow do they contact you'd say no not if I happen was I was in Cyprus and I was having a great year and um normally each year you get like a a big package in the post know where your fever forms and you're asking about your health any previous injuries and that stuff so I'm watching my mom now are you get packaged in the pulse which is that nine got nothing so I'm not in everyone know Eric oh go Matthew yeah well that yeah yeah I've got my form some know right sound okay cool so a code sorry I'm a message the guy run with Chula yeah run blah so he's a um what's your number I'll give you a call so he calls me now and then he's like um all the small talk like he's nervous to say say what is that a grown man is that um you know um you know I can see you having a great year in Greece I'm in Cyprus but yeah you know um the the coaches that is chose to go another direction with some younger guys so I was like okay cool okay I said I'm fine no I didn't take it personal you know for me it was opportunity to go abroad and see family in Caribbean this is my first free son level oh wow so I went with um Dominica saw some family I haven't seen in about ten ten years so I booked my flight now everything's paid for so they're like um by any chance could you come to Houston have you see someone who injured someone's dropped out and now they want to come so I'm like well unless you could reimburse me for the money I just spent on on a fly pump in the air back from them is the way that they think you know yeah um it's like dishes friends there's other stories I can tell you about them violating people and I said this is not to pass GB because it's a new group that's involved and they're totally different people yeah Andy yeah even Joe crying you was a good guy it's not in there you know what that Olympic team that pre-olympic star yeah there are different people yeah you know obviously if you're from the UK and you know you're rooting for briefs possible as much as much as everyone else um did you feel like the Olympics could have been the spark that you know helped really grow the game and you know when you look back at it um do you see it to be a missed opportunity like kind of being involved a little bit on your side like yeah kind of what your feelings around around that time um I mean it's tough because you could say things have gotten worse since the Olympics you know the Olympians were supposed to leave a legacy and help grass from use basketball and get more kids involved in the game and then it's kind of another way you know which I'm not sure what the reason is on the Soviets people at the top or I don't know what's going on – – but this is it's a mess you know and initially you know I would stop people look at France France have a similar population size similar demographic and they're what top Willet top five in the world top 10 no hitting four medals in Europe every year no it is why the UK can't be as big as France you know and then look at Spain UK Germany you know just like I don't know man and in all these countries football we're still bigger than basketball but their basketball is lightyears ahead of us you know so it's a it's a shame man because we have the money for it we have the space for it you know we can easily build the facilities for it but you know I said you know the people had talked war it's a the governing body who knows you know but is you know to me it's all a bit confusing yeah and I hate to put it down to you know maybe because boss was a Tennessee sport no it's a poor man's sport maybe you know so I mean you can yeah I mean you can definitely make the case for institutionalized racism I think that I think I think that's perfectly fair I mean it's funny enough like I just when you're on the way here it's only in touch for a while he's been writing a dissertation about basketball and the levels of funding that's received over the years and sort of the growth of the league and stuff and I mean he's done such a good job of documenting the history and when you really like that I mean it's not 90 pages long but when you read it they're all together and you realize there is just um well it's just a repetitive cycle there is the same things they've been happening for years and we never seem to learn for the mistakes and I do think part of that is the lack of media that holds people accountable for things that aren't happening or are happening but yeah I mean no doubt is incredibly frustrating for everybody involved and it's just it's just it's like I never want to be that cynical guy like this just always bitching about British Parliament but at the same time that is the reality is to be that guy the truth is the truth regardless who offends man yeah I mean pretending and treatment people are offended that's good yeah it should be offended you know it's force this thing is supposed to hurt so I mean you should never throw I'm being that guy the truth is the truth man if you don't like it and make changes you know so did your so your experience of GB you know around that time I obviously didn't you had a period of not been involved for a fair while right I mean I think it was a I think I've played that the next year with job trying you 2013 without leaving you a basket yeah yeah this time was last summer yeah yeah and she it's part of that because of those only experiences and you just kind of like you know I I just don't do it or was so there are other things going on um to be honest it was a mixture of that yes you know you know you start to feel you know why should I sacrifice my time with my family my kids for my body on the line and you're not being appreciative appreciated or yeah I mean you don't feel appreciated or um you don't see you don't think people see the value in you then what was the point of you investing yourself in something you know um but in also you know you know you want your free time you know you want to travel you want to know go and see families know so I mean normally GB was like there was a long time no it was a whole summer was getting wiped out you know you use your goodness away but then recently you know they're doing so windows where it's like okay it's only a week you know you're only with you know markets for a week or ten days so that's that's realistic you know it's doable and then I said the nuclei involved I'm not saying they're perfect but they're they tried to at least make you feel wanted you know they speak to your son way it tones a certain way you know when you're around them you know they don't make it fun easy or make you uncomfortable you know so that helps you know and not someone else there you know that they treated me as if they wanted me there you know so you know that always helps you know the relationship you build with people and if there's no relationship then there's no incentive to come back I said I never had and I've had a conversation with Chris Finch or any dumb guys you know in their mind oh they're here we're here you know not everyone but some of us you know so it's all about how you treat people you know how people respond to you because gee people right people come back you don't then keep over that part g/b yeah I always felt that especially in recent years there have been a lot of change with the with the staffing and stuff it's like you need that one constant almost like a relationship manager whose job is literally just to call that place right here's a guy you know we've been keeping track of you doing good or when I think that would do so much in terms of Korean that goodwill with the players but but yeah it definitely seems like in terms of player relationships with the coaching staff and and the players now is in a better place and has been tell you that from my own experience a lot better it's night and day you know yeah Hoddy even speak to you like the whole delivery you know is this it's a different culture different vibe that they're trying to build you know so you know we lucky to see you involved in the next window um it's possibility mmm I mean a lot of stuff going on you know especially with Jimi passing yeah just trying to get my headspace you know correct well it's possibility possibility I mean I wouldn't say no to it you know I like to be involved so yeah we'll see where do you see the future of British basketball kind of what you've seen with the ppl in the time that you've been around and then looking back to kind of where it was when when you were coming through and up to the present day you know what do you see the general trajectory do you feel like it's got a shot of ever reaching that sort of magical potential that people always talk about or do you think that there needs to be some sort of bigger widespread changes for anything to a change to be honest I mean even just this year alone you know you see the level to be taking step up you know new cost reporting some guys you know let's stop playing your London C roles you know you got us you know Glasgow you got so much talent in the lead now I think it can only get well you know but like you said I think something had to be changed from the top you know I think it has a chance if it wants a chance to be that other league so I'll be respecting the respecting them around in Europe you know something has to change I'm not sure I can find some big investors or some TV deals or something you know because British guys they want to come home you know I speak to all of them I know and if the money was here they'll be here you know like there's nothing stopping them but the money you know so they have to find a way to get more money into the lead man and just just bringing everyone home you know and just have a base where guys can feel comfortable we can come home they can make enough money and a good living you know they can say they can buy houses you know do a future actor you know that that guys in France French guys are making Spanish guys making their money you know this is the only only league where guys don't think they can come home and make good enough money no so it's time like I'm a brain drink you know like you know you see doctors leave Cuba Orly Haiti or you know so it's like now it's all Italians gone and then you need to find a way to bring it all back you know that does become a vicious cycle right our best players are playing I didn't the game was gonna struggle to continue to grow and develop so we're talking about that sort of I guess the financial side of things the commercial side of things you know London Lions have the best arena in there in the country they're in the biggest city in the country and you know still sort of struggled a bit with with crowds and I know this isn't your responsibility you just you know you turn not to play but kind of from your perspective as a play why do you think that the lines maybe haven't resonated with the sort of new impatient like the like we maybe expect what do you think the sort of general awareness is in the area of the club and how do you think that that can be changed over time to to try and get the box you know at least a good 3,000 every single week yeah kind of yeah well things mother I mean from just me being here a year I heart speak on the weapon reform you oh yeah I would just say just creating stronger link through the community you know schools who knows setting up shop in Westfield you know this having kids go around you know um I think they're you know there's things out being done you know now you know I spoke to them about you know some ideas on what what they could do to fana um help you know bringing more crowds you know just giving away more free tickets school kids you know that every day we've had had a school you know where they were from but they were so loud that first game you know and they loved it um but yeah I mean just kind of sum up I think just creating stronger links with that whole new area you know have you said Vegas arena to Stratford two minutes from Westfield us fusion yeah so there needs to be some some strategy where yeah you know again what we'll see you know some part of that comes down to money and having the money to do it but there's definitely other things I you know always think that wow you know I live here which is literally five minutes on the bus from from Stratford and I've never read a leaflet drop through my door saying London lines exist but you're hopefully over time you know that all doubt continue to grow and I actually think with the Royals being there funny enough the interview I did with Ed Warren the other day he was saying that he thinks that there might be too many teams in the league and actually if they went smaller and just went a higher quality you know he's like with if the cob Hawks can't be filled you know why can we have another factoid in London you know I actually feel differently worth I think that the interest that the Rawls is generated than having that London derby definitely makes it interesting you know everyone's got their eye on the first time that you guys sort of pull me up but yeah is a tough one I think that if there was a simple answer then we would have a solution over here years later and it's still still very much same situation and I think also I just don't think obviously there's interest but it's not really interest is that high looking people value possible it's like 100 percent on so it's tough to I mean I don't know is it tougher I mean I don't know it's tough in my opinion because you know most these kids are in football or whatever they're doing on the street you know so but at the same time is I said you gotta find a way to kind of spark that idea you know boxing more you know entertainment dances pastime performance is it could be anything to kind of draw people in you know um you know maybe that's like celebrities shining shining out teams you know come down to on the line so yeah well boy you know only the white is that can reckon um and by people know so yeah not for sure um I I think whether there's anything else that is worth covering I'm sure look at why it was going back to the Britain days it was actually one more thing like you have to write wrote written down with Jabbar I feel like he gets often overlooked but he's a he's a big part of the Brixton puzzle so can you kind of will tell us how he fits into the puzzle like what what he is to Brixton and what he did for you coming up coming up here Jabbar yeah he's another woman he's in that one um him and Jimmy the boy I mean you know it's hard even to kind of describe that dynamic because like you know kind of like yin and yang that make sense like Jimmy was like the militant army running into the ground hold you accountable always on you and always that challenging you mentally you know but Jabbar he would get you in shademan that he's doing some he's from i recomment so and he paid like in that soviet union yugoslavia so he he was so creative with all the drills and i like to be honest it was him that glass like in terms of that doing skill work can like berkeley leaps and you know athleticism he he said he used to do some crazy stuff and i like the other drawer books and everyone books and we cool it 50 once you know funny enough when I spoke to bases this morning he said ask him about 51 ask you about 51 this summer listen development is new 51 and it's have eight people with two balls to have four here falling this women fall in that room and he put free benches in the middle free benches you have to jump and jump over the bench before you swing benches stacked up I'm telling you that and it's tipping right sees yeah yeah it's to each other off the backboard it was a depend where you you actually believe that you can't do it I think it's impossible and each time you talk the board you would at five so 51 become 56 61 and it's let me time to go into hundreds so that guys would be frying up some guys we crying like used to do some crazy stuff from her like I said like that those guys had us to the point where if they said run through school we would run through a routine question it wouldn't say why we'll just run bring all of our alums here tonight well yeah man but I'm asking for me passing Jabbar Jabbar I'm taught me how to like channel my emotions line of the biggest finger man because that anyway those my first time I was very um I was very like face T at attitude always upset was angry at people like I was just like switch you know so easy some loud me I'll get upset they know and Jabbar is always like pulling to the side in that young man you know you got to discard you dare so he he he definitely like channeled my motion and taught me how to die suppress them you know like not completely but to the point where you know that your body language is good you know you're carrying yourself a certain way and there's no let it affect your overall game you know so dr. powers I mean they said a lot people don't mention him it's only Jimmy James Jimmy but the ball was there you know like in terms of our development on the court Jabbar was just as important you know I said they were like a yin yang you know they give you different elements but they were both as important as each other you know but yeah everyone forgets about Jabbar Kasim man listen that's that guy's the he's the wizard man the wizard it was just me so uh carpathian so I guess a final question if you were to talk to a a young British kid you know maybe 12 13 14 years old you wants to be where you are now what advice would you give them what would you say to them to try and help them achieve their goals um I'd say after our work everyone growing practice three to four times a week is not enough no you have to put in work by yourself or outside in the rain on your estate barson of organs a wall you can't have to be like obsessed with it you know it I mean if it's really what I want to do if you don't wanna do it that's fine you know you can talk a good game but you know people can see by actions um also I'll say listen to your elders you know um I've grown up I was fortunate enough to have a lot of older guys you know behind me or before me I see um kind of showed me the ropes and pulled me up about that you know just when you doing man I don't do that don't do this and I feel like especially like a young generation there's a big disconnect you know and I'm not sure exactly there's so many clubs and guys are spread out and what I hope it is enough all the guys guiding these guys or or or giving them advice you know and and the fact that is a disconnect I think somebody young guys are reluctant to speak to us you know in Oxford by saw us for a number that y'all can I call you sometime you know you know so you can help me out and then I'd also say just believe in yourself man you know love people in damascena wouldn't know if you to show to fair whatever you know just just always have that inner belief you know not cockiness well you know the fact that you know you're working people should enhance your self belief you know who you know you put in the work um yeah just have that inner belief and it's always believe in yourself in this just don't let society or your friends or your family situation they tell you you off of that of that um that role you know if wanna make it so it's up to you really so yeah it's a perfect place to leave it Justin thank you so much for joining us it's been an absolute pleasure thank you