- National Teams
For Episode 86 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with Jamie Edwards, former England international and now heading up the new ownership group of the Manchester Giants.
After almost a decade of dwelling near or at the bottom of the league table, in February of 2020, Manchester Giants saw new ownership led by Edwards, and have started this season as a new-look outfit, with a competitive roster, new home venue and re-brand.
Edwards grew up playing for Oldham Celtics before making the move to Manchester United and was taken under his wing by the legendary Alton Byrd, who remains a mentor to this day.
After going to the US for High School (at Byrd’s former school), he returned to the UK where he had a 5 year career in the BBL before getting into running basketball camps and clinics, ultimately leading to the creation of NBA Mad Skills, a nationwide tour of 16 cities and towns which saw him featured on Channel 4 with Scoop Jackson.
Edwards was involved in two unsuccessful attempts at buying the Giants franchise in the late 90s, before setting up Trained Brain in 2000, where he does peak performance coaching with elite athletes and people.
02:49 Interview start
03:51 How Jamie started playing basketball
06:28 The Manchester United basketball programme
10:12 How juniors used to all play before the seniors to encourage the club links
13:31 Playing at Royal Albert Hall
17:30 Being mentored by Alton Byrd
19:32 The similarities in their position and height meaning Byrd took a liking to him
22:39 Jamie went to the same High School Alton did
25:51 Choosing not to play college ball
27:16 Returning to the UK to play at Chester
30:30 The length of Jamie’s pro career
31:56 Why he chose to retire from playing
35:11 Working camps and setting up the NBA Mad Skills nationwide tour
37:24 The first attempts at buying the Manchester Giants in the late 90s
41:09 What was it that motivated him to want to own a BBL franchise
44:03 The years he attempted to buy the franchise
44:29 What stopped it from happening
44:43 The franchise being valued higher in those times
45:15 Whether he has been biding his time over the last 20 years to get the franchise
47:38 How transferring ownership of a franchise works
49:31 How many other people are involved with the ownership of the club
50:31 Where the funding for the club is coming from
51:05 How the reality of running a BBL club compares to his expectations
52:53 Assessing the state of Manchester basketball
59:28 Moving into the National Basketball Performance Centre
1:02:41 The importance of knowing the history to be able to build for the future
1:05:32 The release of Callum Jones from the club
1:08:06 The balance of home grown development with winning at the BBL level
1:10:53 Getting tangible minutes for young British players and whether the focus is on players from the North West
1:14:40 What Jamie’s day to day looks like
1:16:57 Looking to the future of the Giants
1:22:34 Whether it’s a good look for players to have to have another job whilst in the BBL