Continuing our journey across the border into Wales, Cardiff Met Archers' James Dawe is the feature of this week's player spotlight ahead of his club's social media takeover this weekend!
Can you tell us a little about yourself James?
I currently play for Cardiff Met Archers NBL D3 Men’s team and the Wales national team. Alongside playing I am the Assistant Director of the Academy and a lecturer at the University. I also coach the Under 16 Boys in the Jnr. NBL as well as the BUCS Men’s teams.
What brought you to the National Basketball League in the first place?
I started out playing local league for Epsom Rockets which was a great experience, I owe a lot to that set up and coach Jim Pavely for making us so competitive as juniors. But I was always trying to play the highest standard accessible to me so I joined Brighton Bears Under 18s, who were coached by Phil Waghorn at the time and this was my first NBL team. It was good to have the additional challenge and to start learning to play with more structure.
What was your first "bright spot" with your team?
I have played with Cardiff Archers for almost 10 seasons so I’ve known most of the guys on the team and coach Vic Fleming, for years, we've had a lot of ups and downs. I’m happy whenever we are playing close to our potential.
What was your biggest challenge?
Playing somewhere new can always be a challenge, I’ve joined several fairly well-established teams over the years and it always feels like you have something to prove. But once you get to know a team and they see you’re willing to compete it’s usually easy to fit in.
What changes have you noticed in yourself since joining the NBL?
I’ve been lucky enough to play for quite a few coaches in different places at various levels, so the biggest change is probably my understanding of the game.
What are you working on right now, what are your current goals?
I am always trying to improve as a player, usually working on skills to better fit what the team needs. With our D3M team the short-term goal is to make the play-offs so we are focusing on our last 3 games before we start thinking about next year. I’m also looking forward to being involved in the Welsh national team’s ambitious goals.
What is your favourite NBL memory?
Winning NBL D4M with UWIC Archers.
What advice would you give someone who is just getting started in basketball?
Practice lots, and don’t tweet about it. Don’t be too cool to work hard.
What do you like to do outside of basketball?
Finally, who is your favourite British basketball player and why?
Stef Collins of course. She is a machine!
Main image credit - JS Sport