In this edition of the TUB 5 I talk to Will Maynard. We discuss playing ball in the States, coaching and assess just how good the Riders can be.
Guard – 6ft3’ – British – Born 1993
Lions (TX Div-TCAL 3A) 13.4 PPG, 4.7
RPG, 3.6 APG, 1 SPG Faith Christian
(BUCS Div1) Loughborough University
Leicester Riders (BBL)
BBL Cup Final Winner 2013
TUB: Firstly, I want to know about your year playing basketball in the States. How much of a culture shock was the move – both in terms of lifestyle and their appetite for basketball? How did your game develop because of the experience?
Will: It was a huge culture shock, not only on the basketball side of things but also just the lifestyle in general. Living away from my friends and family was tough, but with things like Skype I felt like I could talk to them and see them when I wanted which was great. Yeah, their appetite for basketball is crazy over there. It's such a huge sport in the
and everybody from the community loves to get involved and come and support.
Playing basketball over there is like playing football here. As for my game developing
from being in the States, I think it developed just as it would have done if I
were over here. I am a big believer that wherever in the world you are, you can
always put in the same amount of work and develop your game as much as you
would like to. But, all in all, going up against some of the nation's best players
was a huge stepping stone for me to see where I am and what I need to work on
in order to improve my game. US
TUB: The Riders obviously see your potential, and you have been in and around the first team since making your BBL debut in 2010. What improvements do you think you need to make in your game to earn regular minutes in the Riders rotation?
Will: I think the biggest improvements I need to make are becoming a lot stronger and quicker. Playing with such great athletes in the BBL, you need to be physically strong and quick, as well as have a good skill set.
TUB: You’ve already completed various coaching and refereeing badges. How much does that side of the game appeal to you, and can you see a career in player development once your playing days are over? Also, how conscious are you of the fickle nature of professional sports, in terms of preparing for an alternative career, if the worst occurred and you were unable to play ball professionally?
Will: I love the coaching side of the game! I don’t just play basketball, I read about it, I watch it almost everyday, so I'm not just learning on the court, I'm learning off the court as well. I want to play basketball as long as my body lets me, and I haven't been injured yet (touch wood). Hopefully I won't be for the rest of my playing days. But when that time comes, I would love to get involved in coaching and developing young British basketball players. Yeah, I am pretty conscious, but I never let it bother me when I play. That’s why I always have a Plan B.
TUB: The Riders have started out the 2012-13 season in dominant fashion, currently sitting top of the BBL. What makes this current crop of players special and how will you keep the likes of Surrey and
behind you in the standings? Newcastle
Will: We have a great group of touch players this year. There is also great team chemistry, which I think helps dramatically. I think we are special because everyone on the squad contributes in their own way and makes an impact, and having a team like this is very difficult to beat. The BBL is extremely strong this year, so it's going to be hard to stay top of the pack, but if we keep practising hard, playing together and keep doing what we have been doing we will be fine.
TUB: What’s the sickest slam you’ve seen when you’ve been on the court? And have you ever been on the wrong end of a poster?
Will: There has been a few that I can think of, but I think the one that stands out the most was Jamell Anderson for Loughborough in the BUCS competition against
It was nasty! And
I have been: Savon Goodman (UCLA) with an alley-oop, but we don’t like to
talk about that, haha! Glasgow.
You can follow will on Twitter @WillMaynard01