Here at Hoops we’re committed to bringing you the most informative and motivational content possible – after all, we want you to love sport as much as we do! But we don’t know everything. So we’re going to be enlisting the help of regular columnists to help us fill in the gaps.
This week Hoops ambassador and Manchester Giants power forward Richard Bell tells us his thoughts on his first season in Britain’s top professional basketball league. To catch up on Richard’s career to date, and his relationship with Hoops, read our interview with him from January.
“I’m pleased – but there’s more to come”
On a personal level I felt like the season went well for my first year playing professionally out of university in the US.
I was coming off a major knee surgery last summer and I wasn’t able to play for about eight months, which meant I missed the first five games of the season.
So coming into my first year professionally under those circumstances, and earning a starting five spot and performing the way I did, I am pleased with myself.
However, now that I understand the level of the BBL and what I am capable of doing in this league, I want to be more consistent next season and perform better.
Although I had some good moments this season I feel like I can do a lot more in the BBL.
Great meeting with the @Hoops_App team today! We've got some good stuff coming this summer!
— Richard Bell (@rbell_15) May 1, 2017
“We understand what it takes now”
For the Giants it was a tough season.
We lost a lot of games this year but we had some great moments and some parts of the season where we played some really good basketball.
I think the Giants understand now what it takes to compete in the BBL and I think things will only get better in the future.
Having said that, the fans have been amazing and have supported us faithfully throughout the entire season. They really were outstanding and I really enjoyed playing for them this year.
“The BBL needs more exposure and funding to showcase talented players”
I was quite surprised at the level of the BBL.
I didn’t really know too much about it before I left England as a teenager and I didn’t follow it while I was in the US, but I had heard that there was some good players over here. And there was!
I think the BBL has a lot of talented players and a lot of potential to be a strong league in Europe.
I think the problem with the BBL is things like exposure and funding – although they have the recent BBC deal in place now, it still needs more exposure and also more funding if it wants to compete with other countries.
But the building blocks are there in terms of locations, facilities and talent.
I think with the right push the BBL could be big time in the future and I’m excited to be a part of that process.
“Next season is about consistency”
In terms of next season my goals are to get bigger and better.
This season was about coming back from surgery and getting back to full strength in my knee, and also getting a feel for the league.
Now that I have done that, it’s about getting better and getting stronger so I can improve upon my performances for next year.
I want to be more consistent next year so I want to be in much better shape. Now that I am able to workout in the summer and also have a preseason with the team, I’m confident I can do that.
I also want to improve my overall body strength – I want to jump higher and move quicker and really be at peak physical condition coming into the new season.
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