In Episode 62 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with the only British player to be drafted in the last decade, San Antonio Spurs draft pick Ryan Richards.
The Great Britain Senior international was selected with the 49th pick in the 2010 draft, and though never ending up on the final roster in the NBA, has gone on to play all over the world in places ranging from Switzerland, to Iran, Mexico, Austria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Lebanon and most recently the UK in the BBL.
Now 29 years old, he looks back on his career so far, from first picking up a ball through to signing in Spain as a 15 year old, the NBA draft process and the multitude of countries he has lived and worked.
In this 1 hour 45 minutes episode, hear from Ryan on:
The decision to sign in Belgium this season
How COVID-19 is impacting Belgium
Having a stake in the Kent Panthers and the vision for the club
Launching his own camp that had to be cancelled this summer
How the game has evolved to give him greater longevity in his career
What he does with his down time in-season
His weight loss this off-season, dropping over 45lbs
How he first got into basketball through his older brother
The influence of the and-1 mixtapes
The impact Joel Freeland and Ashley Hamilton had on his aspirations and early basketball development
Playing for the England national team as a junior
When the European clubs came knocking to try and recruit him
The wooing process with Estudiantes and Gran Canaria
Signing a professional contract as a teenager and having few people in England to turn to for advice
His relationship with Rob Orellana and his mismanagement
Playing in the Nike Hoop Summit as 15 years old
Being hidden away after his performance at the Hoop Summit and drawing the attention of the likes of Coach K and Calipari
Being take advantage of as a youngster and people looking out for their own self-interest
How he was handled as a teenager affected his ability to trust people in his career
The European route versus the American route for player development
How much you can earn in Europe on a junior contract
The NBA draft process and his performance at the Combine blowing up his profile
Where he was on draft night and finding out he was selected by the San Antonio Spurs
What happened the year after he was drafted and the rehab process
Chasing stability and acceptance
His relationship with the Spurs over the years and why he thinks he never ended up getting on the final roster
Advice he would give to his younger self
Whether or not he still thinks he could end up on an NBA roster
Being embraced in Asia playing in Iran and his love for Persian culture
The impact travelling has had on his own personal development
His thoughts on the BBL and his experiences playing in it
Whether or not he would want to invest in a BBL franchise
Representing the GB Senior Men and if he aims to continue being involved
And much, much more!
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