Coming full circle with Manchester Giants - with Mike Bernard - Ep. 63 -

Coming full circle with Manchester Giants – with Mike Bernard – Ep. 63

In Episode 63 of the Hoopsfix podcast we sit down with former England Senior international and 13-year pro, Mike Bernard.

Hailing from Manchester, Bernard hooked on to the Giants BBL team at just 16 years old, before going to the US for college and then having a pro career that saw him play in Greece, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Cyprus, Slovakia – where he had his most productive years and won a championship – and the UK.

Having been involved with the Giants during their peak years in the mid-90s, and then joining them for their second incarnation in 2012 through to his retirement as a player, along with seeing both the England Senior National Team programme during what many consider a trying time, through to being called up to the re-birth of the Great Britain Senior Men’s programme in 2006-7, Bernard has seen a lot of key stages of British basketball first-hand.

The 6’9″ big man now coaches the next generation coming through at Myerscough College, heading up their girl’s programme, whist assisting on the boy’s side.

Hear from Mike on:

  • How he first started playing basketball, making the transition from cricket
  • The impact Yorick Williams and Steve Brown had on him as a youngster
  • Aspiring to play in the BBL
  • Moving to the US to play college ball at Coffeyville Community College
  • The importance of the weight room to his basketball performance on the court
  • His aggressive nature on the court, trying to dunk everything on everyone
  • Trash-talking and the only player he ever talked with
  • Getting his first England Senior call up at 19 and his memories with the National Team
  • The impact Laszlo Nemeth had on his career and why he was such a player’s coach
  • Joe White and his relationship with him
  • The legendary Rough & Ready tournament and what made it so special
  • What a talent Ajou Deng was
  • The state of the England national team programme and how it compared to GB
  • The recruiting process in college and which D1 schools were showing offering
  • His standout memories from University of South Florida
  • The invite to Milwaukee Bucks training camp that never came to fruition
  • Winning a championship in Slovakia and almost being forced to miss the entire series
  • His view on the BBL in the time between his debut in 1994 through to his retirement in 2015
  • Manchester basketball as a whole and the different factions
  • And much, much more!

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