Joe Forber - Building One of the UK's Most Successful Basketball Clubs

Building One of the UK’s Most Successful Basketball Clubs – With Joe Forber – Ep. 34

Joe Forber Honoured in Manchester

For episode 34 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, Joe Forber (pictured above, centre), one of the founders of the Manchester Magic programme, took some time to sit down and talk about his story and career so far.

Joe Forber, originally a teacher, got involved with hoops decades ago before helping found Manchester Magic in 1997. The Manchester programme have gone on to be one of the most successful clubs in British basketball history, having won 81 titles since the year 2000, including a dominant stretch in junior basketball that saw them frequent the Final Fours across all age groups, male and female, for a number of years.

Manchester are the reigning NBL Trophy and NBL D1 Play-off Champions, along with WBBL Cup Champions, and in 2016 the Magic did the NBL D1 quadruple – winning the Trophy, Cup, League and Play-off titles.

Joe Forber and his wife Maggie won the 2013 BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero Award for their tireless work and dedication to basketball in Manchester.

In this a-little-over-an-hour episode, hear from Joe Forber on:

  • How he first got involved with basketball from a rugby background
  • The positive response of kids to basketball in comparison to other sports like rugby
  • Why he chose to focus on the coaching and teaching side of things instead of playing
  • Roy Packham and his guidance and influence on Joe’s early years to build a club
  • Forming his first National League club in Cheshire, Ellesmere Port Panthers, with Mike Burton
  • The quality of American imports back in the day
  • The American import vs spots for British players debate
  • Comparing the talent level of kids now to previous years
  • North basketball vs South basketball
  • The original Manchester United basketball programme
  • What he would like to see the National Governing Body do to improve the sport
  • The biggest ‘gaping hole’ he sees in England’s competitive structure
  • The importance of players starting the game young
  • The long-term lack of leadership in basketball from an NGB perspective
  • John Amaechi, who was originally developed by Joe, and why he believes him to be such a great role model
  • Spotting the ‘future pros’ and how you can never really tell who is going to make it
  • The creation of Manchester Magic and what made him first set up the club with his wife, Maggie and Graham Williams
  • Building the Amaechi Basketball Centre
  • The financial model behind Manchester Magic
  • The future of basketball in Manchester and a potential coming together of different organisations
  • Possibilities of a new BBL franchise in Manchester
  • 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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