- National Teams
In Episode 87 of the Hoopsfix podcast we sit down with former GB international and 12 year pro Dzaflo Larkai.
Larkai retired from playing ahead of the 2019-20 season and made a smooth transition into life after playing as an international NBA scout with the Milwaukee Bucks.
‘Flo’ played professionally for 12 years, spending most of his time in Japan where he won 7 titles, including doing the regular season and playoff double three times consecutively. He also played in Spain and in the UK – suiting up for Mersey Tigers, Leicester Riders, Manchester Giants and London Lions where he won a Cup and League title.
More recently, he has joined Luol Deng’s coaching staff for the South Sudan national team as an assistant in their continental qualifiers.
Since COVID-19 hit, Larkai’s contract with the Bucks has been paused and he is currently waiting to see how it plays out but remains hopeful he will be brought back on board.
02:26 Interview start
03:03 Making the transitioning from playing into his next career
11:27 How a role with an NBA team as a scout comes to fruition
17:18 What scouts are looking for and the red flags
22:55 The level of talent in Africa and how far we are from African ball becoming a powerhouse
27:58 The difference in young players from Africa compared to young British players
30:30 What made Flo first start playing the game
34:32 The three versions of Flo that exist that help him make decisions
41:13 Forgetting basketball players are humans
43:37 Becoming self aware
45:54 Starting out at Chessington Wildcats
52:57 How Brixton Topcats cultivated that family feel and loyalty within the club
55:24 The landscape of junior basketbal and who the talents were of his generation
58:43 How the move to the US for prep school came about
1:03:22 Turning down D1 offers to go to Prep School
1:06:27 Playing with Rasheed Quadri at La Salle
1:07:49 Redshirting his first year at La Salle due to injury
1:10:45 Playing in his Redshirt Freshman year
1:14:39 Whether the transition to college basketball was easier than he expected
1:17:55 His memories of Rough & Ready
1:20:47 His sexual assault case at college that led to his departure from La Salle
1:32:03 Transferring to Bellarmine and how the case changed him
1:37:33 Turning pro and signing in Spain
1:43:25 Ending up playing in Japan
1:48:52 Whether he knew he was going to end up longer term in Japan
1:50:57 What sort of money you could earn in Japan
1:52:01 Managing your finances whilst being a pro basketball player
1:57:15 What his younger and older self would say to him now
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