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
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