Life as a semi professional basketball player in England for me personally was very enjoyable. It was in the later part in my career and I wasn’t too concerned with getting a lot of minutes or worrying about my statistics. I just wanted to have a bit of fun playing the game that I loved.
My semi professional basketball career
Most of my life I have played basketball it has been in the semi professional ranks. It started after I finished playing college basketball in USA. I returned home to Melbourne Australia to join the Tigers team in the MMBL Championship league.
Now, the MMBL Championship league back in the early 2000’s was vastly better than what it is now. Back in the day, yes I am showing my age. The league was filled with teams from SEBL and ABA with some VBL division 1 teams. The league was highly competitive with a lot of talent. In some cases teams played their imports.
When I returned I remember Al Westover suggesting to me to play in this league and made the call to Tony Harris to include me on the roster. From the first game I was hooked. The team was so fun to be around, Tony was amazing in welcoming me and I was made a starter with the green light to play my game.
In all I played 2 amazing seasons for the Tigers in the Championship league and led the league in scoring my first season and came second in the last season for the Tigers.
ABA and QBL in Australia
Within Australia I played in the second best competition in two different states; Victoria and Queensland. In 2002 I played for the Waverly Falcons and in 2007 I had a short stint with the Gladstone Power. To be very honest, I didn’t enjoy playing during these times because I was buried on the bench. I know all everyone needs to know their place on a basketball team but I was frustrated with injury and the lack of game time.
To be very transparent I wasn’t the right fit and these frustrations I had made me a pretty bad teammate to have. I behaved like a spoilt brat that didn’t have his way. Hey, I still whopped all the starting 5’s all at training though. I guess that was the reason for my frustration.
Semi professional basketball career in England
My semi pro and pro career in England was my most enjoyable. As I mentioned previously it was in the later part of my basketball career where I wasn’t as serious. I just wanted to enjoy my time playing in another country and get travel done in between training sessions.
It was this attitude that sparked the love for the game that I had when I was younger. Forgetting the stress of competing in a high level of competition and enjoying the moment. England basketball was by far the most enjoyable basketball I have played since college basketball. I have been blessed to have great teammates and to be welcomed into various teams.
Semi professional basketball in England for me has been with teams competing in summer competitions. I have flown back for a few years now and played for various teams in the summer competition. The games itself is highly competitive as players are playing to impress. After all, there’s a spot on the team on the line. But at the end of the game, win or loss, everyone is upbeat without the pressures of a normal season.
What I loved about playing semi pro in England
I thoroughly loved playing semi professional basketball in England for a multitude of reasons.
- I felt free to play the game I enjoy playing without too much control from the coaching staff.
- There’s no pressure to win like in seasons playing in the summer league.
- Players were playing for the love of the game and for the most part were happy to share the ball.
- No high paid import players that thought that they had to shoot every time they got the ball in their hands.
- Ability for me to travel to other countries and see the sights after the game.
- Freedom I had between training sessions as we only had 2 a week.
Basketball in England has a special space in my heart. I was able to escape the politics of playing representative basketball in Australia and go somewhere I was unknown and given the ability to prove myself. Best part, basketball in England in the semi professional ranks is taken far more seriously than rep and ABA in Australia. This is why I believe playing semi professional basketball in UK is a great option to getting the foot in the door to a pro contract.