Signing with European powerhouse Real Madrid at 14 - with Kareem Queeley - Ep. 90 -

Signing with European powerhouse Real Madrid at 14 – with Kareem Queeley – Ep. 90

For Episode 90 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with Great Britain and San Pablo Burgos guard Kareem Queeley.

The 2001 born prospect, originally out of Leicester, has been regarded as one of the UK’s brightest talents since bursting onto the scene as a 13 year old winning the MiniCopa MVP whilst on trial with Real Madrid.

He swiftly signed a multi-year junior contract with Real Madrid, moving to Spain to continue his development – winning a Euroleague ANGT title in the process, whilst representing England and Great Britain at Under-16, Under-18 and Under-20 level.

He departed Real Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 season to sign with another ACB side, San Pablo Burgos, and most recently in October became one of the few Brits to win a club European title as they secured the Basketball Champions League title.


00:00 Intro
02:14 Interview start
02:33 How Kareem first started playing basketball
03:28 Living in St Kitts before moving to England
04:40 Getting involved with the Leicester Warriors
05:24 Whether he feels he had a natural ability for it
05:50 How much he could work on his game as a youngster
06:11 The progression from there
06:39 When basketball became a serious pursuit
07:34 Choosing between football and basketball
08:03 What he learnt at Leicester Warriors that set the foundation
08:56 When he realised he was pretty good
09:15 Some of Kareem’s bigger scoring games as a junior
10:02 Weighing up his options as a 13 year old
11:44 Playing in the Junior Final Fours
12:28 Playing with teammates who weren’t as talented
13:30 How the trial with Real Madrid came about
15:10 Winning the MVP at the MiniCopa in Spain and the impact mentally
16:22 What made him decide to sign with Real Madrid and move to Spain
16:55 What the pros and cons were that he was weighing up with deciding to sign in Spain
18:06 Signing a 4 year deal (2+2) and making the adjustment to Spain
19:21 The quality of the facilities at Real Madrid
20:16 How it works with his education in Spain and a typical day in the life
21:34 What type of school he attended
21:56 The language spoken on the court
22:12 The comparisons between what he had in England to Spain basketball-wise
23:07 The different competitions he competed in in Spain
23:25 His progression over the 4 years at Real Madrid
24:35 The level of competition Real Madrid faced at Junior level
25:38 Winning the Euroleague ANGT
26:28 Making the decision to not go to college in the US
28:42 The highlights from his 4 years with Real Madrid
29:28 Representing the England/GB junior national teams and whether there was a difference in his level
30:33 Whether coaches in Spain noticed any bad habits
31:26 His contract with Real Madrid coming to an end
32:28 Beginning the process of finding another team
33:19 At what point he became fluent in Spanish
33:39 Signing with San Pablo Burgos
34:29 Playing for Burgos’ feeder team and not their ACB side
35:27 Becoming a true ‘professional’ and getting that first pay cheque
36:03 How he feels about his own development as a player
37:01 Whether the club can hold him more accountable now as a pro
37:27 The instability of being a professional basketball player
38:16 Dealing with the impact of COVID-19 in 2019-20
39:22 Winning the Basketball Champions League
41:56 Dealing with not playing as many minutes as he might like
42:54 The impact of COVID-19 on the current season
44:29 His day to day at the moment
45:08 The surprises about pro life
46:06 Representing the England/GB junior national teams
48:05 What prevents GB from getting top 8 finishes at every age group at Division A level consistently
49:09 Other players he rates from his generation
50:07 Getting a call up to the GB Seniors
52:17 Best coach he’s played for
52:58 Favourite basketball memory
53:37 Favourite teammate
53:55 Hardest player he’s ever hard to guard
54:25 Best individual performance he’s ever witnessed
54:55 Best British player he’s played with or against
55:16 What’s in the future for Kareem in the next 3-5 years

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