Making an easy transition into retirement from pro ball - with Joe Ikhinmwin - Ep. 105 -

Making an easy transition into retirement from pro ball – with Joe Ikhinmwin – Ep. 105

For episode 105 of the Hoopsfix podcast, we sit down with England international and nine year pro, Joe Ikhinmwin.

In this two hour bumper episode, the former London Lions captain exclusively reveals he is retiring from basketball, with a smooth transition to The Cyber Nerds, the business he set up with three friends to review movies, comics and games which has become a huge success.

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.

He signed with the Newcastle Eagles in his rookie year before moving to his hometown London Lions where he has remained since, captaining the club for the past 6 seasons whilst winning a Cup, Trophy and League title.

We discuss all of that and more in this episode that crosses the intersection of basketball, business, content creation, player welfare, and more.

Time stamps:

00:00 Intro
03:37 Interview start
04:00 Joe reveals he is retiring
06:50 Why he’s decided to retire now
09:24 Is Joe still working out to stay in shape?
10:48 Whether Joe is 100% of if he could come out of retirement in years to come
11:42 The transition to retirement from playing being easier due to his other stuff
13:28 Advice for younger players starting their career in the BBL
25:00 Whether the level of the BBL is underrated
26:54 Minutes and wages for British players in the BBL
28:51 The important of continuity of a roster for marketing
30:50 Clubs arguing they operate within the rules so signing naturalised British players is fine
31:55 Whether his contracts would have been enough to live well off and British players not being paid enough
33:55 What he would say to teams that say they don’t have the budgets to pay players more
39:25 Where is the player union?
42:13 How much do players communicate throughout the league?
43:40 If players discuss their contracts with each other
50:20 Perception is everything
51:55 Joe’s early days playing starting at East London Royals
56:30 How he ended up going to Barking Abbey
1:01:23 Sam’s two standout memories of Joe
1:03:57 The impact Barking Abbey had on Joe’s development as a person
1:06:49 Where Joe’s work ethic came from
1:09:23 Self awareness as a player and why so many players lack it
1:11:27 Whether Joe has been able to have input on systems with teams he plays on
1:13:10 The London Lions last season and Joe’s evaluation of it
1:17:39 Whether the big roster was a source of issues with players having to sit out on rotation
1:19:00 How much 777 have changed things internally with the London Lions
1:19:55 The impact of COVID last season on the Lions’ European run and the Cup Final
1:23:13 The Cyber Nerds and the stuff Joe has going on off the court
1:27:37 Whether he started the Cyber Nerds with the intention of it being a business
1:28:35 The different revenue streams of the Cyber Nerds
1:32:30 How to monetize Hoopsfix, and size of the British basketball market
1:47:03 Having almost 100,000 followers on Instagram
1:48:29 Whether there is more pressure when posting with a large audience
1:50:24 Importance of a personal brand for athletes and whether players with a bigger following will have greater leverage with contracts
1:54:14 Marketing advice for the league and teams
1:56:44 Favourite basketball memory
1:59:50 Favourite coach he’s ever played for
2:00:08 Best junior player he’s ever seen
2:01:30 Best individual performance he’s ever witnessed
2:02:33 His best performance of his career
2:05:12 What’s next for Joe in the next 3-5 years

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