Probably wondering how I did it? Did I have natural talent? Am I tall? Did I have loads of money to go to a talent camp? The answer to all the above questions is NO! When I first started playing basketball I wasn’t coached or shown how to hone my skills. It was only when I went to college in America where I was developed. I am definitely not tall, I am 5’9” and when I started playing only weighed 58kg. I come from a middle class family with no added savings to go to expensive talent camps. In fact when I first started playing there was no such thing in Australia and recruiting to college from Australia was slim.
I first started playing basketball at lunchtimes in high school. Two of my best friends Sholto and Joel were keen basketball players and played at a representative level for many years. Jumping in the games that were played in an outdoor half court that passion to play grew. I was so passionate about playing I signed up to play in an after school basketball competition in year 11. This was the first time my dad ever saw me play. Getting encouragement from him and others I joined one of my lunch time basketball buddies domestic basketball team and the rest is history.
1998 Melbourne Tigers – Under 20’s Melbourne Metro League 3
1999 Melbourne Tigers – NBL Training Squad (Australia)
2000 Solano Community College – Bay Valley Conference (USA)
2001 Robinson Junior College – Illinois Summer League (USA)
2001 Long Island University – North East Conference Division 1 (USA)
2002 Waverly Falcons – Australian Basketball League (Australia)
2002 Melbourne Tigers – MMBL Championship League (Australia)
2003 Melbourne Tigers – MMBL Championship League (Australia)
2004 Westernport Steelers – MMBL Championship League (Australia)
2004 Westernport Steelers – Country Basketball League (Australia)
2005 Mornington Breakers – Victorian Basketball League 2 (Australia)
2006 Westernport Steelers – Country Basketball League (Australia)
2007 Gladstone Power – Queensland Basketball League (Australia)
2008 Year off due to knee surgery
2009 Guildford Heat – British Basketball League/ Euroleague (UK)
2010 Eltham Admirals – London Metro League 1 (UK)
2011 Took a year off basketball due to injury
2012 Sheffield Arrows – British Basketball Summer League (UK)
2013 Year off due to shoulder surgery
2014 Nottingham Training Squad
Being old I still love playing basketball and still being in the basketball circle I see so many young kids miss out on taking their talents further. It really is criminal how basketball in Australia (and to an extent in UK) is only for those who have money. Even rep basketball these days can cost an arm and a leg.
I honestly want to see kids go on and play a high level of basketball. Even if it is division 2 or 3 in USA or Europe. I want kids with the passion I had at their age go on and experience what I have.
Playing basketball doesn’t have to be about money or having super talent. I am living proof of this. I want to be able to share with people tips and tricks that has seen me play basketball in more than 15 countries in the world.
We are a family of 5. Dad, mum and two little brothers. Yep, I am the eldest and most people say the most immature. I like to think of myself as young at heart.
My dad was a skilled welder and explosive expert that worked at a defence contract company to fit the Australian military equipment with extinguishers. My mum was a nurse for 30 years working in the maternity ward as a midwife. My mum and dad are now a retired and enjoying travel around the world.
My middle brother lives in Singapore and works for Westpac lending Asia and my youngest brother works for Apple as a Genius. Neither of my brothers are really into sport however both are keen pushbike riders like myself. My little brother also enjoys going to the gym and for the last year and a half he has been my gym partner. He’s had some great results, putting on 10kg of muscle and a massive 130kg on his squat! Great results.
My family is the greatest thing in my life. They are my strength and the only people in this world I can truly rely on. I couldn’t imagine where I would be if it wasn’t for my mum, dad and brothers.
Before basketball my life was filled with playing cricket, watching cartoons and riding my pushbike. I loved riding my pushbike; I spent hours exploring the area that I lived in. It was a great way for me to get together with my friends and hang out.
Cartoons were a major part of my life when I was in primary and high school. I used to get up early in the morning before school to watch the run of cartoons such as thunder cats, ninja turtles and transformers. When I came home from school I tuned into an educational cartoon the mysterious cities of gold. To this day I still enjoy watching these cartoons. Yes, I bought the box sets.
For career I work as a Senior Digital Producer mainly working with large eCommerce sites; or put simply I work with online shops. I really enjoy the web space hence one of the reasons I started this blog.
I also created a website to show off my skills www.manoj.com.au. On this site I publish articles on optimising content for online shops to boost sales.
In my spare time apart from working on the No Boarders Basketball site I work on my race cars. I have two Nissan Skyline GTR’s; ’93 R32 GTR and a ’96 R33 GTR V-Spec. My 32 GTR is a pure race car with stripped interior and roll caged. My 33 GTR however is my daily drive and is a very streetable car. My little brother has had a few cars that he has built appear in magazines. One particular was a 400KW Evolution 6.5.
In the coming months my little brother and I will be getting our CAMS racing licence so that we can compete in track days and national rallies.
Another major thing in my life and something I want to focus on more is my charity work. I realised this when I ran a charity event to feed 150 street kids. Every year it is my intention to continue this feeding program.