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ISSUE 03 SPRING 2011


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EDITORIAL > CONTRIBUTORS > LISTINGS

MVP MAGAZINE Response Studios, 369B High Road, Leyton, London E10 5NA. e: info@mvp247.com w: mvp247.com t: 020 8558 3501

Editor Greg Tanner greg@MVP247.com Assistant Editor Mark Woods mark@MVP247.com Creative Director Jake Green jake@MVP247.com Art Director Harry Adams harry@MVP247.com Contributing Writers Sam Hart, Sam Neter, John Harris & Jacob Hiller

Contributing Design, Photographers/ Illustrators Rinchen Ato, Peter G. Borg, Anthony Charlton, Kieran Halil, Duncan Hill, Kevin Joseph, Stefano Leonardi, Ville Vuorinen & Stuart York

Special thanks to The Lewis Gang, Vince and Tim @ Adidas, Kent & Tom at NBAE, ‘The Rube’ at Pitch, Smnwnwrght at Nike, Damon & Nick at ESPN

Printers Printed by the Manson Group.

Published by MVP247 Ltd © Est: 2010. ISSN: 2045-4546

Distribution by: Comag distribute & can be bought at all major basketball events.

GAME ON!

There’s something in the air at the moment. It genuinely seems as if all the stars are aligning for basketball in Britain right now. I felt it when I saw NBA legends holding clinics on a full-sized court in the Westfield shopping centre in London in March I felt it as I sat in The O2 Arena, watching the first regular season games ever to be played in Europe. I felt it when FIBA announced we would be participating at London 2012. I felt it when the news came that Team USA’s men and women will be playing our guys and girls in Manchester next July. Suddenly I’m getting emails and phone calls from media organisations wanting to do stories on basketball, from companies asking about putting on basketball events, and from people who aren’t even fans of the game asking if I can get them tickets for the Olympics (which I can’t - so quit bothering me!!). Everyone in the British basketball community has been hoping for years that 2012 will be the springboard the sport needs in this country. Well, not trying to jinx it, but the signs of that are certainly starting to show...and it’s all VERY exciting!

We have, of course, got the Olympic decision (and the strings attached to the deal) covered in this issue. Mark Woods was there in Lyon to hear the announcement made and has all the reaction to the news. I meanwhile speak to NBA Europe chief, Sophie Goldschmidt, about how the League sees the future of the game in Britain, given all the recent developments. Mark also has a fascinating interview with GB forward Nick George who candidly reveals, for the first time, why he chose to ‘retire’ earlier this season. And, continuing his string of exclusives, Mark speaks to Dwight Howard, who tells us why his drive to win an NBA title is no joke. Speaking of pressure and the NBA, it’s looking more and more likely that there will be a lockout next season as owners, officials, players and agents argue about money. When I spoke to seven-time champion Robert Horry recently, he told me that NBA ballers should be paid less, given the current economic climate - a view shared by David Stern and millions of fans around the world. So make sure you enjoy the play-offs this spring / summer, as unfortunately, it could be the last NBA action you see for quite some time!

Keep ballin’ Greg Tanner

Subscriptions Swish Online Store www.swishbasketball.net We may occasionally use material we believe has been placed in the public domain. Sometimes it is not possible to identify and contact the copyright holder. If you claim ownership of something published in MVP, we will be pleased to make a proper acknowledgement. All letters received are assumed to be for publication unless otherwise stated. MVP does not accept liability for any loss or damage of unsolicited materials. Reproduction in whole or parts of any contents of MVP without prior permission of the Editor is strictly prohibited.

JJACOB HILER

STEFANO LEONARDI

Jacob has successfully trained high school, college, NBA, Olympic athletes, and professional dunkers to increase both their quickness and vertical leap. Jacob is a regular contributor to our workout section.

Stefano is a photographer from Glasgow currently based in Hong Kong/China His work has been published on book (Serpents Tail, Harper Collins). Stefano brilliantly captured Hong Kong for this issue.

KEVIN JOSEPH A regular contributor to MVP, Kevin recently shot our exclusive tete a tete with Kobe. Ranging from fashion to Nudes, Kevin shot Simon Wade the Sneaker Freak for this issue.

VILLE VUORINEN Ville has worked as a professional photographer for over five years - but in the last few years has become a full-time basketball photographer. He has shot Trey Moore and NBA LDN for this issue.

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INSIDE

> REGULARS

10 | OVERTIME

Angel delight for Manchester...and Brit fans set to get sneak peek at Team USA

24 | MARK’S VIEW POINT Basketball is a numbers game. It’s time we changed that.

38 | GALLERY: HONG KONG The city’s secret world of night time playgrounds.

48 | FASHION All the kicks and clothes you need to stay fresh this summer.

64 | WORKOUT Jacob Hillier’s tips for defensive domination.

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> FEATURES 14 | RUFF RIDERS

The Brits making NCAA history in New Jersey

16 | DURHAM WILDCATS Clawing their way to the top

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22 | WOMEN’S EUROBASKET Why success for Team GB in Poland will be measured in more than just the win column

26 | GAME ON! Britain gets those all-important Olympic spots - but with serious strings attached

28 | NBA IN LONDON A triple-overtime thriller makes the League’s Euro adventure a huge success

32 | DWIGHT HOWARD Orlando’s funny-man-in-the-middle gets serious

60 | JORDAN JUNKIE Meet the man with over 100 pair of Js

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62 | BOBBITO The multi-skilled mogul who helped shape NY’s hoops heritage

> BALLER

12 | NICK GEORGE The Great Britain forward reveals, for the first time, why he called time-out on his career FRONT COVER: ADIDAS / 3D ARTWORK KIERAN HALIL TOP TO BOTTOM: ADIDAS, RINCHEN ATO & VILLE VUORINEN

MVP ISSUE 4 OUT JULY 21ST 2011

Follow us on twitter (@MVP_247) and Facebook (@MVPMag) for daily news, exclusive features and competitions.

18 | CHARLES OAKLEY How Jordan’s former arch enemy ended up coaching Money’s team

20 | TREY MOORE The Newcastle Eagles guard is the BBL’s ultimate competitor. He’s never known anything else.

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> EBL: DURHAM WILDCATS

The Durham Wildcats have risen from D3 to EBL1 in just five years, And they don’t plan to stop there.

I’ll tell you a true story,” says Durham head coach Dave Elderkin as we sit watching his team get ready to face Brixton. “We met two of these guys in the pub on the way down here. Tey were going back up to Durham from a Division Four game and we told them ‘you’ve got to come with us or we don’t have enough players.’” With their visitors missing four of their strongest six players, Brixton are in for a stat-padding victory, right? However the Wildcats have other ideas. Tey run their hosts close to the final buzzer, having several shots to go ahead in the final minute, before ultimately falling 76-70. For anyone who has followed Durham for the last few years, this kind of performance was no surprise. Only five years ago, the Wildcats, attached to the city’s university, languished in the third tier of the English Basketball League. Tey narrowly missed out on promotion before enduring an injuryriddled campaign. Finally, the following year, they reached D2. Eeven then they could not have envisaged what would come next. Te arrival of Scott Morton from NCAA Division III school Geneseo University sparked an upwardly mobile charge, culminating in an unprecedented triple success for the Wildcats. Morton sparked the team to see off Westminster in the Patron’s Cup final before the league and play-off crowns were added for good measure. Elderkin – a former England international who spent much of his playing career in the BBL - calls their arrival to the top flight of the EBL his proudest moment in charge of the club.

“It was the culmination of five years of programme building,” he declares. Morton departed following his graduation from Durham University. However the Wildcats’ new-found status meant there were now two spots open for international recruits. Enter Ivy League duo Kevin Bulger (Columbia University) and Paul Nelson (Yale) both of whom arrived for one-year Masters courses. “[Te Americans] have a big impact on our local players in terms of motivation, raising the skill levels and aspirations,” Elderkin acknowledges. “Continuity is important but we have to accept that the one-season players got us moving in the right direction and will be the norm for some time.”

strength and conditioning coach and nutritional advice, in addition to providing them with administrative and promotional support. But the offering of scholarships is something that Elderkin identifies as especially important. “[Te university] has a high international profile, particularly in the US. And we hope the scholarship route will attract the quality of player we need to service and deliver the programme.” Despite their foreign legion, the heart of the club is firmly home-made in the form of Mark and Paul Elderkin, the coach’s two sons. Te pair have been ever-present during their team’s rise through the ranks. Elderkin Senior acknowledges that developing local talent is one of the club’s primary aims. “We want to build Words By: from the bottom JOHN HArrIS up and enter Photos By: age-group teams STUArT YOrK in national league - DAVE ELDERKIN at every level, “ he asserts. “Te ‘local Bulger and Nelson will soon end their talent’ knows right from the start stays, leaving two vacant slots to fill. they can aspire to play at the highest Te recruitment plans are already level. We work with School Sports under way. “Turnaround is something Partnerships to introduce the sport in we are learning to deal with,” admits primary schools.” Having travelled so Elderkin. “Te programme began with far, Elderkin sees no reason to think the recruitment of under-graduates and small. “Te community programme post-graduates were the second step. We will be expanded to cover every district now have a recruitment and scholarof County Durham. Men playing BBL ship strategy in place for both. Te first and Europe. Women in EBL One, and group of players into our programme Europe. Emulating the cricket club on will graduate this summer and we hope the international stage is very important they will remain with the programme; to Durham County Council.” this will obviously help continuity. Five years into the future, with the Also, we are trying to recruit players team possibly competing at home and who fit the roles of players leaving.” abroad; with youth teams at every level, Durham University has been a and with international ambitions, they major contributor to the club in a might look back and smile about the number of ways, supplying them with day they had to pick up two guys in a free training facilities, access to a pub on the way to a game. MVP

“ We want to build from the

bottom up and enter age group teams in national league at every level ”

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> COVER STORY

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Words By: Mark Woods Photos By: adidas/ NBaE/GEtty 3d artWork By: kiEraN Halil

Behind the smile, and the jokes, and the costumes, there is another Dwight Howard you may not know. And the alternative version will only be happy when he gets his hands on the prize.

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> HONG KONG BALLIN’

40 MVP ISSUE 03


Beneath the neon lights of Hong Kong lies a secret world of night time playgrounds. Stefano Leonardi takes us there. Words & PHoTos BY: Stefano Leonardi

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> FAsHIoN

Models: President OPOku, ChlOe BurrOws, elOdie trOuiller emily mCdOnald at Models 1

> Nike Lebron 8 v2 All Star Game 2011 - Foot Locker Jeans: mOdels OwnsOCks h&m

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PHOTOS BY: Rinchen Ato

Jammin’ Kicks When you’re Jammin’ you need your kicks to be Slammin’. Here we have a selection of the sickest and slickest kicks on road.

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> SNEAKER FREAK

The Retirement Plan

Basketball coach Simon Wade doesn’t have a pension fund. But he’s hoping his 150+ pairs of Jordans (and a heap of other collectables) might just see him through his old age.

A

s we all know, this is the Age of Austerity. But it’s not just council workers and students feeling the pinch.“It’s tough to find the work at the moment,” basketball coach Simon Wade told MVP. “It’s a shame because with the Olympics coming, you’d think there’d be a lot more work around. But obviously the government is cutting funding left, right and centre. Basketball is my passion, but at the moment I’m leaning towards not doing it anymore. Because I’m not making enough money.” Fortunately, the 35-yearold is sitting on a little goldmine. Over the last 20 years, Simon has built up a staggering collection of Michael Jordan merchandise. “150 pairs of Jordans is what I’m up to now. I’ve got about 60 jerseys. I only have Jordans, nothing else. No Air Forces, nothing like that. Just Jordans. “The thing that really started it off was the ‘Come Fly With Me’ video. I was just blown away by it - and it started the ball rolling really. The first pair I got were the Air Jordan IVs, second-hand off a friend, white and cement grey. The first new pair I got were the Air Jordan Vs in black. And it’s just gone from there really. “I’m from The Cotswolds originally, and back in the day there were just a couple of select sports shops that would get Jordan stuff in. I used to go to America a lot – we’d have our family holidays in Florida – so that was handy, I’d get stuff from the States. But it’s a great deal easier now with eBay and the Internet. There are certain pairs that I always wanted but could never get my hands on – but now, with eBay, you can. “I prefer the older stuff – the Jordans between I and VI, the XIs...and the XIIIs are my favourite. I basically just deal with numbered Air Jordans...from I to I think we’re on XXVI or XXVII Words By: now. All the fusions and the hybrids – I’m not really into all that. Greg Tanner All my clothes are Jordan, I’ve got hundreds of T-shirts, shorts. Photo By: It’s all I wear really.” Amongst Simon’s most prized possessions Kevin Joseph are a signed photograph of MJ, the original 1985 Air Jordan Is and a very rare North Carolina college basketball card. So just how much has he actually spent over the years? “I’ve tried to think about it. I’m not sure. But it’s gotta be over 50 grand I’d say. I’m staring at it all right now and it’s gotta be that much. 150 pairs of trainers, jerseys, books, cards.“One day, I might have to sell it all. The idea is that it’s a bit of a pension for me – because I haven’t got a pension! So it’s nice to know it’s worth a fair bit. Ideally, I’d like to keep it forever, but you never know really.” MVP 60

MVP ISSUE 03


“ It’s gotta be

over 50-grand, I’d say. I’m staring at it all right now and it’s gotta be that much ”

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