Why British Basketball Needs to be a Dictatorship - With Martin Henlan - Ep. 27 - Hoopsfix.com

Why British Basketball Needs to be a Dictatorship – With Martin Henlan – Ep. 27

After a mini-hiatus over the Christmas/New Year break, the Hoopsfix podcast is back as we sit down with 15 year pro and former England/Great Britain Senior International, Martin Henlan.

The Birmingham-born big man had an impressive basketball career, beginning with West Bromwich Kestrels, before a stand-out 4 years at Virginia Commonwealth University and then returning to the UK for a pro career that saw him finish amongst the most successful players in BBL history, along with spending seasons in Greece and France.

Martin represented Great Britain in three World Student Games and two Olympic qualification competitions and won 27 caps for England, all whilst became an outspoken advocate of players’ rights which resulted in him establishing the Basketball Player’s Association UK.

Since retiring, Henlan has set up his own company, A Tall Order Limited, which deals with media distribution and consultancy, and is a regular commentator for basketball on TV.

In this little over an hour episode, hear from Henlan on:

  • Why the rain is what made him first pick up a basketball
  • The early years of basketball in Birmingham and playing for West Brom
  • The impact of playing junior games directly before seniors
  • Getting cut from the England Under-19s providing the spark to take the game more seriously
  • How his move to the US first came about as an international exchange student
  • His arrival to the US and walking into a gym to see coaches from Virginia, Maryland, Boston, VCU, and NC State all there to watch him
  • Why he was ruled ineligible and never end up playing a game for his High School
  • The rec league that really aided his development as a player
  • What made him choose VCU and his memories of his college career
  • Why he didn’t respond to the NBA teams that showed interest in him
  • The call from Kevin Cadle that saw him turn pro in the BBL having already decided to go to graduate school and get a job
  • His experiences in Kingston competing at the highest levels of Europe
  • The Bosman ruling and how it changed the British basketball landscape
  • Why he set up the first Basketball Players Association in the UK
  • The politics that saw him left out of the England Senior Men’s squad which still pains him to this day
  • The BBL’s decision to walk away from Sky to sign with NTL, who shortly went bust afterwards
  • Why British basketball needs to do a much better job of marketing its star players
  • Why the BBL becoming ‘a democracy’ was the worst thing to happen to the sport
  • 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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