In Episode 56 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with the first Englishman to play in the NCAA Final Four, Karl Brown, widely considered one of the best, if not the, best defensive player the UK has ever produced.
The England and GB international (with 51 and 27 caps, respectively) now runs national league club Leicester Warriors, but had an illustrious career that saw him be a six-time BBL All-Star, win two BBL Play-Offs championships and a BBL Trophy and Cup title.
He averaged double-digits for England (10.2ppg) and was the leading scorer for GB at the 1989 World Student Games, but it his college career where he is most recognised, for becoming the first Brit to play in the NCAA Final Four playing over 30 minutes a game as Georgia Tech’s defensive stopper in 1990.
In this almost two hour episode, hear from Karl on:
How he first started playing
Making the choice between football and basketball
How basketball kept him out of trouble
How a connection with the Leicester Riders head coach landed him in High School in Florida at the age of 16
The cultural shock of going to the US from the UK
His awareness (or lack of) of any other British players trying to make it
Not being heavily recruited out of High School
Ending up at Chipola Junior College where he became one of the best JUCO players in the nation
How he became such a good defensive player
The recruitment process after his Sophomore year at Chipola and his five visits
Why he chose Georgia Tech and his early memories of getting on campus
How Coach Bobby Cremins only ended up recruiting him as JUCO player due to not being able to access High School Seniors
His difficulty adapting to playing in the ACC
How his coaches started questioning whether they made a mistake recruiting him after his Junior year and tried to make him transfer
Heading into his Senior year with a stacked squad featuring three future NBA draft picks in Dennis Scott, Kenny Anderson, and Bryan Oliver
His memories of their magical Final Four run, game by game
How his first professional contract offer was actually in the NFL with Denver Broncos
Why he chose to come back and play in the BBL with Leicester
How him and a number of other players boycotted the BBL All-Star game
His toughest player to guard in the BBL
What happened when he got suspended for the Play-Off semi-final and final
The difference in BBL wages then compared to now
How the Leicester Warriors ended up getting founded
And much, much more!
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