In Episode 65 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with Jack Majewski, owner of London United basketball club and founder of Future Stars International Basketball Tournament.
Originally from Krakow, Poland, Majewski was a former player who fell in love with the coaching side of the game, being at the helm of the Polish U16 national team before moving to the UK in the early 90s to join Kevin Cadle on the bench of the Guildford Kings as they made the top 16 of the FIBA Europe Cup.
From there, he helped set up the the Chessington Wildcats junior program, before setting up the Ealing Tornadoes whilst working as a basketball coach on the borough’s sports development team.
In 2002 he founded London United, which has operated in West London since with a focus on junior development being based at different academies, and having two separate attempts at getting a BBL franchise off the ground with London United in 2006-7 and Surrey United in 2013-15.
Majewski also set up the Future Stars International Basketball Tournament in 2008, which ran for 6 years and featured top Division A U18 junior national teams from across Europe and had a number of eventual NBA players compete such as Rudy Gobert and Dario Saric. Future Stars returned in 2019 as a pre-season U18 club tournament, featuring the likes of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Rytas Vilnius.
Having now been involved at all levels of the British game for almost 30 years, Majewski has a unique Euro-centric perspective on the game in this country and what needs to be done to help drive things forward.
In this two hour (!) episode, hear from Jack on:
His early start in basketball in Poland and how he ended up in England
The passion he had for coaching and wanting to reach the highest levels of the game
Jumping in at the deep end in the UK being on the coaching staff in the top 16 of European competition with Guildford Kings under Kevin Cadle
Why the Kingston teams competing in Europe in the early 90s are one of the greatest untold stories in British basketball
British basketball being so insular and not being exposed enough to international basketball
The role that clubs have to play in being the driving force to grow British basketball – not the federation
Clubs needing the ability to protect their ‘investment’ in players by licensing them accordingly and having final approval on movement between clubs
Why sport is not democratic and it is not club’s responsibility to keep everyone happy
Conversations he has had with the federation to try and change things
The current picture of basketball in the UK being so stagnated and unattractive
Why it is so important there is stability for clubs by changing the structures they operate in
His two stints with the BBL, with Surrey United and London United and what happened with both
Whether or not he still has BBL aspirations
The over-reliance on schools/educational institutions within British basketball and being at the mercy of the head teacher
The lack of investment in coaching in British basketball
London United’s recent announcement of their partnership with Movistar Estudiantes
The founding of the Future Stars international basketball tournament and its development over the years
Raising funding/sponsorship to be able to run events and fund programs
Cultivating a network of relationships to help a basketball program grow
His belief that the social-value of basketball in the UK is grotesquely overused and overvalued
The need to create viable future career paths in basketball in the UK for young players
And much, much more!
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