The first Brit to play in the NCAA Final Four - with Karl Brown - Ep. 56 -

The first Brit to play in the NCAA Final Four – with Karl Brown – Ep. 56

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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