Being a late bloomer on his way to a successful pro career - with Taiwo Badmus - Ep. 97 -

Being a late bloomer on his way to a successful pro career – with Taiwo Badmus – Ep. 97

For Episode 97 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with 3-year pro and Ireland Senior international Taiwo Badmus.

Badmus did not start playing until he was 16 years old, under the legendary Mike Cartey in South London, before attending Hackney Community College. After struggling to get to the US, and enrolling at the University of West London, Badmus exploded onto the scene in the summer of 2014 with a strong showing at Midnight Madness, eventually leading to a scholarship to Fairmont State, one of the top NCAA Division 2 programmes in the US.

After a season and a half of barely playing, Badmus transferred to UVA Wise for his final two years, putting up crazy numbers as he averaged 20 and 10 to seize the opportunity, turning pro in 2018-19 in Spain, where he led his side Marin to LEB Gold promotion, and has played in Spain’s second Division ever since.


00:00 Intro
03:18 Interview start
03:35 How Taiwo first picked up a basketball
05:27 What made him move to Ireland as a 5 year old and his history there
06:29 Learning the game under Mike Carty in South London
08:26 His progression with playing National League
10:53 Being under the radar and the moment he felt he had a future in the sport
13:54 Blowing up in the summer of 2014 and what he had been doing before going to the US
15:49 Doing a year at the University of West London in 2013-14 and how he stayed sharp
17:39 Whether he ever questioned whether basketball was the right path for him
19:09 The players in London who helped him on his path before heading to the US
21:06 The players from around his generation that he was looking up to or going against growing up
22:44 What the process was to end up in the US at Fairmont State
25:14 Going Division II as opposed to NCAA Division I
26:26 The transition of going to the US from the UK
28:39 Whether the transition was challenging just athletically/physically or also skill-wise
29:45 How long the transition took
30:59 Not getting a chance to play a lot at Fairmont State
33:14 Memories from Fairmont State
35:19 Finding somewhere to transfer to without having played a lot
36:37 The transition to a new school in UVA Wise
37:37 Putting up crazy numbers at UVA Wise after not playing for 2 seasons
39:32 If he still had one eye on turning pro whilst at college
40:34 Dropping 38 points on his previous school when they played each other
44:16 His standout memories from UVA Wise
45:36 The process of turning pro
47:32 The options on the table for his rookie year
48:44 Transition to pro life from college life
51:34 Whether he had to adapt his game for pro life compared to college
52:44 The cultural transition to Spain
54:33 His rookie season with Marin and earning promotion to LEB Gold
57:00 Making the decision to re-sign with Marin for his second year in the pros
58:29 The gap between LEB Silver, LEB Gold and the ACB
1:00:26 His second season being cut short by COVID-19
1:02:29 Being back in London for lockdown in the Summer of 2020
1:04:34 This season with Coruna
1:06:29 Representing the Ireland national team in the summer of 2018
1:08:36 His thoughts on FIBA 3×3 having played in it and its potential for the future
1:10:25 His favourite basketball memory
1:11:41 Best British player he’s played with or against
1:12:14 Best coach he’s played for
1:12:57 Best individual performance he’s ever witnessed
1:13:49 Taiwo’s future aspirations for the next 3-5 years

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