- National Teams
London Lions captain Joe Ikhinmwin is retiring from professional basketball following nine seasons in the BBL, he has revealed to Hoopsfix.
“I’ve been playing basketball for a long time and I’m here to announce I’m retiring from professional basketball,” Ikhinmwin said on the Hoopsfix podcast this week.
“I’m no longer with the London Lions and a new phase in life is starting.”
The East Londoner is a former England and GB junior international, going on to represent the England Senior Men’s team at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, along with winning a BBL Cup title, Trophy title, and a league title with the London Lions, having captained his home town club for the past six years.
🗣 "We’re all going through an evolution and this here is the right time. I wanted to leave on my own terms, and the terms I’m leaving on, I’m happy with, so I’m good.”
— Hoopsfix (@Hoopsfix) August 19, 2021
“I had been thinking about it for a while but it hasn’t seemed the right time until now,” the 33-year-old added.
“With how last season went, I just felt like towards the end of the season, this makes sense, I think it’s time. It wasn’t like I woke up in the morning and felt it, it was a gradual understanding that this was it.
“With where the club (London Lions) is going as a whole, with 777 (new owners) coming in, we’ve got a new GM, everything is changing. I feel like it is the perfect place for me to change as well. We’re all going through an evolution and this here is the right time. I wanted to leave on my own terms, and the terms I’m leaving on, I’m happy with, so I’m good.”
Starting his career with a season in Newcastle, he moved down to his hometown London Lions the year after where he has remained ever since, whilst building a successful business on the side with two of his childhood friends – The Cyber Nerds, which reviews movies, comics and games – which he will now transition into full time.
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“Coming to the decision was a gradual thing. I’ve always thought past what was going to happen after basketball,” he added.
“I’ve always been interested in other things and even when I was young, I was always like there will be something else. I didn’t want my whole life to be defined by how good or bad I was at basketball, so I’ve always done things behind the scenes that would push me and give me opportunities after, and I feel like basketball does that anyway.”
The Cyber Nerds have amassed almost 50 million views and 160,000 subscribers on YouTube whilst Joe has been a professional basketball player, while he has also inked himself a presenting gig on Amazon Prime’s ‘The Screen Test’.
Starting his basketball career as a 14 year old at East London Royals, he moved on to Barking Abbey basketball academy before attending Seminole State Junior College and then NCAA Division 1 South Carolina State where he turned pro upon graduation.