Steve Bucknall - British Basketball Legend - Hoopsfix Podcast Ep. 9 - Hoopsfix.com

Steve Bucknall – British Basketball Legend – Hoopsfix Podcast Ep. 9

It’s been long overdue, but Episode 9 of the Hoopsfix Podcast has dropped, and we’ve got a good one! Sitting down with British basketball legend Steve Bucknall, one of the most successful British players ever, most famous for his stint with the Lakers in the 1989-90 season right in the middle of the ‘Showtime’ era.

“I never played the game to be a star, I played it because I liked it,” Bucknall said in the early stages of the podcast that ends up going for two hours.

We managed to cover most of his career to date (but still so much more we could have touched on!), including:

  • How and why he first got into playing basketball growing up in South London
  • The impact Crystal Palace basketball club on his early year
  • What it was like matching up with a 16 year old Vlade Divac at the WICB tournament at Crystal Palace
  • How his move to the US happened after winning MVPs at two summer camps
  • How tough he found the transition to the US, and how basketball helped him get over feeling home sick
  • How him and his high school team were so dominant their coach had to enter them into a tougher league
  • Why winning MVP at 5 Star Basketball Camp going into his Junior Year put him on the map
  • Where his work ethic came from and why defence was his focus
  • How he handled the recruiting process with over 200 schools after him
  • The story of how UNC offered him a scholarship based on a warm up
  • The experience of being a McDonald’s All American in his Senior year at Governer Dummy Prep.
  • The rude awakening stepping up to the college game from HS, playing with the likes of Kenny Smith & Brad Daugherty
  • His memories of scoring 99 points in a school game in England
  • How he felt he made it when James Worthy picked him up from the airport for Lakers training camp
  • The disappointment and shock he felt when was to be cut by LA on a road trip to Houston.
  • The step-down of coming back to play in Sunderland after the NBA’s bright lights
  • How his desire to find the next Steve Bucknall led him to setting up Bucknall Essential Skills Camp.
  • His belief of the importance of role models
  • His unfinished business with the sport and how he feels its being destroyed
  • How he feels the sport’s former stars are being under utilised
  • How his club Lewisham Thunder has recently got their own two court facility.
  • And much, much more!

“Not many people can say that everything they wanted to do they did it, even if it didn’t last for very long,” he added in the interview, which is a must listen for any UK hoops fan!

As always, I’d love to get your feedback, come back after you’ve listened and lets get some discussion going in the comments.

The show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet (ignore the BBC 5 Live podcast it has automatically pulled in on iTunes, I’m working on getting it removed)!

 

 

Image Credit: Abdul Kassim

1 Comment

  1. LittleJohn

    March 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Great interview!

    I first heard about Steve Bucknall in 1985 when he was the half time feature on the NBL Playoff Final between Man U and Kingston, then televised live on Channel 4!. As a
    12 year old at the time I was fascinated by this English kid who had played high school ball in the US and got a scholarship to North Carolina and wondered if I could do the same.

    Although I only made it to an NAIA school, it was really the story of Steve Bucknall that inspired me to also chase my dream of playing college ball in the US.

    Just a few observations:

    1. Would have liked to hear more about Steve’s opinion of Vlade while he was at the Lakers. As both are Europeans would have been interesting to learn of their different
    experiences getting to the Lakers with Steve going the HS route and
    Vlade going the club route.

    2. The importance of hard work and how, even if you aren’t the most skillful player , effort and hustle can still take you far.

    3. Crucial point about how in the UKformer players are not utilized. I would have thought the national authorities in the game would be seeking out former players for their
    expertise and wisdom in helping the current generation of players.
    Such a crying shame they are not.

    Hope you manage to track down more former great UK players from the 80s and 90s, such as the Scanlebury’s, Roger Huggins, and Karl Brown, and interview them in a similar fashion.

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