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EDITORIAL // ISSUE 014

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Q

We’ll have to wait until January to find out what happens there. But right now, we have the start of the new season to keep us entertained. Here, all eyes are on the Leicester Riders to see if they can repeat last season’s success. Make sure you catch our BBL preview later in the mag. Meanwhile, we hear from Derrick Rose ahead of the most highly anticipated NBA comeback in years. Be sure to read our feature on him too. Keep Ballin’

Greg Tanner

“ The decision-makers at UK Sport probably won’t have watched the games, seen the potential, realised how close we were... ”

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uestion. If you’re UK Sport, do you now think: a) GB couldn’t even make it out of the first round of EuroBasket – cut the funding. Or b) Missing our three most high profile players (Luol Deng, Joel Freeland and Pops MensahBonsu) we went 2-3, beating world number 13 Germany and showing there is a bright future for the team with a crop of up-and-coming young stars (described by GB chairman Roger Moreland as a ‘golden generation’). Keep the funding. Obviously, the UK basketball community is hoping for the latter. But, sadlys for us, results count. The decision-makers at UK Sport probably won’t have watched the games, seen the potential, realised how close we were to making the second round. They won’t appreciate that we have a crop of young guards (for years our problem position) who are ready to take their games to another level. The black and white results on a piece of paper are what will ultimately count. Having said that, it looked like it was game over in February, before UK Sport reversed the decision to reduce the funding to zero. So perhaps they might be open to persuasion. But from where I’m sitting right now, I don’t think it looks good.


CONTENTS & CONTRIBTORS // ISSUE 014

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Photo Adrian Skenderovic Handprinted letterpress poster by Hooksmith press UK www.hooksmith.com

REGULARS 10 OVERTIME A summer of success for Britain’s youngsters and the BBL launches its own league pass.

12 MARK’S VIEW POINT How player pulling power has kept the WNBA afloat.

62 WORK OUT Drop down and get ya eagle on, with Dunc’s essential squat guide.

FEATURES

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER

16 LONDON LIONS Vince Macaulay tells us how much is riding on his team’s big move to the Copper Box.

24 BBL PREVIEW Will Leicester ride all the way the title again this season?

30 EUROBASKET Did GB’s positives outweigh the negatives at EuroBasket?

14 BOSTON / BROOLYN How has the trade deal of the summer affected the balance of power in the Eastern Conference?

36 DERRICK ROSE The former MVP on his much-anticipated return.

44 GALLERY: LOST HOOPS Photographer Adrian Skenderovic uncovers basketball courts in strange and exotic places.

54 MUSIC & Fashion The up-and-coming DJ / producer who’s making some Noisse.

Nat Black-Heaven Nat Black-Heaven is a basketball writer and ex-ESPN marketing journalist and blogger. He was selected to be a London 2012 Olympic Torch Bearer for his grass roots work in the sport. Having lived in the US and UK, he provides detailed and in-depth knowledge about all corners of the game.

BALLER 20 ALEX OWUMI The amazing tale of how the BBL baller survived the uprising in Libya.

26 DEVON VAN OOSTRUM The hottest name in GB basketball talks exclusively to MVP

adrian skenderovic Photographer based in Paris, passionate about street culture, he is always looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary life. He does 3 points shoot with his camera.


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Words Greg Tanner // PhotoS Andy Sidders

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER

LONDON LIONS

Can the new-look London Lions help the BBL finally crack the capital?

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he London Lions’ move to the Copper Box is, claims Vince Macaulay, “the biggest thing to happen to British basketball in the last 20 years.” Now obviously the coach and owner of the Olympic venue’s new resident team is going to big up the development...but I’m not so sure it’s even that much of an over-statement. For years, the BBL has tried and failed to make it work in London. Long gone are the days of the Towers playing to crowds of 6,000 at Wembley. And while the likes of Newcastle and Plymouth have managed to build up respectable fan bases, London has appeared a lost cause. But installing a team in the Olympic Park just might be spark the league needs. Macaulay certainly thinks so. “We all love our sport,” he says “and we’ve always said that all we needed was an opportunity to present it in the right way. To have it in the right place. To have it taken seriously. I think we’ve got that now.” There are, he explains, three big dif-

ferences between now and when the London Towers and Leopards were last relevant. “One is obviously the Olympics,” he states “which has put sport in the UK on the map and has created an ‘excellence’ for sport in the UK. It’s not just about Premier League football anymore. It’s about British sport winning. “The second aspect is the venue. We all know what it cost those guys to put games on at Wembley and the London Arena. That’s chopping off your leg before you get started. So being able to have the venue and the partnership we have with the venue operator (Greenwich Leisure) is absolutely brilliant. “Then the third thing is what has happened with social media. As much as the Towers and Leopards presentations back in the day were fantastic, nobody knew. Because we could never get on mainstream television, we couldn’t get in the main stories in the newspapers - by the time you went through 14 pages of football, nobody was interested!


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BBL

BIRMINGHAM KNIGHTS Coach: Paul Douglas Last season: Not applicable In: Brent Benson, Emile Hopkins, Mike Gayle, Martyn Gayle, Kieran Mills, Armond Battle, Aaron Maher, Ryan Lewis Out: N/A American guard Brent Benson has been the key acquisition as the Birmingham Knights tool up for their maiden campaign. Joined by a group built up predominantly of inexperienced youngsters, a lot of emphasis will fall on Benson to lead in as many ways as possible. Douglas may have hoped for more ahead of this first season. Prediction: 12th

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER

CHESHIRE PHOENIX Coach: John Lavery Last season: 10th In: Calvin Clemmons, Dominique Coleman, Yannick Crowder, Masse Doumbe Out: Chez Marks, Gabriele, Haskins, Jamal Tahraoui, Jerome Gumbs, Stuart Thomson, Alif Bland Lavery was a solid recruiter in his stint in charge of the old Jets and the new-look Phoenix figure to be much-improved this season. Veteran American big Clemmons should give them size and strength, Coleman is a nice small school pick up while Yannick Crowder, once of Florida A&M, completes a promising frontcourt. And there’s still a touch of vintage with Shawn Myers supplementing his pension as he returns for his 46th BBL season. Prediction: 9th

DURHAM WILDCATS Coach: Lee Davie Last season: 11th In: Devin Ginty, Danny Huffor, Joel Madourie Out: Samuel Johnson, Keith Page, Brad Guinane, Mike Baldarelli, Andrew Keister The usual turnover of players in Durham and, surprisingly, a new coach in Lee Davie who has more experience in junior women’s basketball. Paul Elderkin remains but the overhaul is led by point guard Devin Ginty, with the American coming from the Finnish League. Former Rock Danny Huffor returns after a year out with an ACL tear and is a nice pick-up. Prediction: 11th

GLASGOW ROCKS Player-Coach: Sterling Davis Last season: 3rd In: Chez Marks, Daniel Northern, Marin Zelalija, Patrick Manifold, Fran Urli Out: Donald Robinson, Jamie Vanderbeken, Andrew Wedemire, Michael Ringgold, Brice Fantazia The Rocks’ solid foundation could give them something to build on this season. Davis has EJ Harrison coming back with youngsters Gareth Murray and Jonny Bunyan set for bigger roles this season. In Croatian duo Marin Zelalija and Fran Urli, the Rocks could have a couple of surprise packages while Tennessee Tech big Daniel Northern and Patrick Manifold, from the University of Maine, will provide power in the post. Prediction: 3rd

LEICESTER RIDERS Coach: Rob Paternostro Last season: Champions In: Levi Noel, Harrison Gamble, Rashad Hassan, Anthony Downing Out: Zaire Taylor, Yorick Williams, Pavol Losonsky With Drew Sullivan, Jay Couisnard and the majority of last year’s treble-winning squad saddling up for another season, the Riders will fancy their chances of repeating.

Paternostro will have been disappointed to lose Zaire Taylor but he looks to have done some good business in recruiting guard Rashad Hassan from Savannah State University and young Sant Josep Girona forward Harrison Gamble – making them a good bet. Prediction: 1st

LONDON LIONS Coach: Vince Macaulay Last season: 8th In: Joseph Ikhinmwin, Kramer Knutson, Albert Margai, Ben Smith Out: Orlan Jackman, Tayo Ogedengbe, Joel Barkers, Jordan Spencer Macaulay was still putting the finishing touches to the team that will call the Copper Box home, at the time of writing. He had however been able to secure the services of last season’s captain Michael Martin, Surrey duo Julius Joseph and Albert Margai and towering centre Kramer Knutson from Romanian side Sibiu. The move for Ben Smith is perhaps the most exciting as the swingman signs having won multiple titles with Wichita State University. Prediction: 8th

MANCHESTER GIANTS Coach: Jeff Jones Last season: 9th In: Yorick Williams, Keith Page, Rob Marsden Out: Ben Eaves, Anthony Purcell, Callum Jones More of the same will be the order for the Manchester Giants following their creditable ninthplace finish last term – and this is reflected in their offseason moves. The majority of last season’s squad has returned while Keith Page has been nabbed from Durham, Rob Marsden called up from EB Division One and Yorick Williams brought home to provide some BBL knowhow. Prediction: 10th

Photo Ville Vuorinen

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he last time Newcastle Eagles ended a campaign empty-handed, they returned to complete the quadruple the following season. But last term’s treble-winning Leicester Riders will take some unseating, having got the better of the Eagles in all five encounters in 2012-13. Throw in Birmingham’s return, an Olympic home for London’s lone club and a whole host of exciting imports and it’s set to be a spectacular season back with the BBL.


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Player-Coach: Fab Flournoy Last season: 2nd In: Drew Lasker, Paul Gause, Malik Cooke, Scott Martin, Stuart Thomson Out: Joe Chapman, Damon Huffman, Kareem Maddox, Joseph Ikhinmwin, Anthony Martin Compared to previous years, this summer has seen some serious upheaval at Newcastle. The Eagles’ failure to defend any of the four titles picked up the previous season clearly hurt, as coach Fab Flournoy’s emotional reaction to Play-off final defeat demonstrated. One of the stars of that quadruple campaign, Paul Gause, has since returned along with BBL veteran and another former Eagle Drew Lasker as Flournoy attempts to offset the loss of Joe Chapman with a number of capable replacements. Prediction: 2nd

PLYMOUTH RAIDERS Coach: Jay Marriott Last season: 6th In: Donald Robinson, Ben Eaves, Garrius Holloman, Jarvis Jones, Shane Walker, Tom Woods Out: Mike Ojo, Javarris Barnett, Colin O’Reilly, Drew Lasker, Jamal Williams, Matt Schneck The sacking of coach Gavin Love just days before training camp looked like it may rock the Raiders’ but the appointment of former academy head Marriott appears to have appeased such fears. Love had already put in much of the groundwork before his dismissal and with returning big Andreas Schreiber now partnered with 6ft 10in Shane Walker, Plymouth look unlikely to give up anything easy around the basket. Prediction: 5th

SHEFFIELD SHARKS Coach: Atiba Lyons Last season: 7th In: Jeremie Simmons, Brian Barbour, Patrick Horstmann, Da’Quan Cook Out: BJ Holmes, Demetrius Jemison, Andrew Bridge, Eddy Bromwell, Marcus Welsh, Marko Backovic Last season’s BBL Trophy winners

will be without the MVP of that showpiece final, BJ Holmes, paving the way for Great Britain under-20 international Nick Lewis to perform a more elevated role. Veteran guard Andrew Bridge has now retired but with Olu Babalola and Mike Tuck still in situ, the Sharks won’t be short on experience. Prediction: 7th

SURREY UNITED Coach: Jack Majewski Last season: 4th In: Elvisi Dusha, George Williams, Kevin Fleming Out: Caylin Raftopoulos, Albert Margai, Travis Holmes, Frank Holmes, Chavis Holmes, Samuel Cricelli, Peter Simek An ownership change stemming from a partnership between Surrey Sports Park and London United Basketball Club is said to have strengthened the future of the franchise but it remains to be seen the effect it will have on the court. Majewski was still in the process of building his roster at the time of writing but had made a promising start, drafting in forward Kevin Fleming, who had previously played in Germany and Latin America while picking up GB under-20 international Elvisi Dusha. Prediction: 6th

WORCESTER WOLVES Coach: Paul James Last season: 5th In: Zaire Taylor, Caylin Raftopoulos, Will Creekmore, Stefan Djukic, Ian Salter, Kai Williams, Harrison Turner Out: Sherrad Prezzie-Blue, Arnas Kazlauskas, Carlos Fernandez, Arturas Masiulis, Stanley Ocitti, Kai Williams Worcester were one of the winners of the postseason bringing in Leicester’s Zaire Taylor, fresh from being named in the BBL’s Defensive Team of the Year as well as adding former Sampaense Basket forward, Stefan Djukic. They will be joined by promising big men Ian Slater and Will Creekmore and the returning Alex Owumi as the Wolves hunt a top four place. Prediction: 4th

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NEWCASTLE EAGLES


SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER

DERRICK ROSE

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Words GREG TANNER // PhotoS Adidas

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How the injured Chicago star had to get selfish to get better....


SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER

GALLERY

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Street photographer Adrian Skenderovic was in the Philippines when he first came across some lonely looking basketball hoops in idyllic settings. Since then, he’s delved into desolate village basketball courts from across the world and created his “Lost Hoops” series.

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hese images highlight the neglected hoops in solitary charm, each presenting its own story and personality over the years of use. The images also show how a basketball hoop - no matter how tired it may be - is still an essential institution in the local community.


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SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER

FASHION

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Words Nat Black-Heaven // PhotoS Jake Green

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MVP Issue 14 Sampler & Promo  

A new season means a new issue of MVP Magazine is now on sale with Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose on the cover. We talk exclusively to...

MVP Issue 14 Sampler & Promo  

A new season means a new issue of MVP Magazine is now on sale with Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose on the cover. We talk exclusively to...

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