In the first of a new feature on the site, we speak to Plymouth Raiders player Paul Williams about life in England, the standard of the BBL and who he most admires in basketball.
Paul is currently having a fantastic season for the Plymouth Raiders in the BBL. He was disappointed to be on the losing side against the Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Trophy Final last month as you can read here. Ok, let’s crack on with the questions.
Hi Paul, thanks for spending the time to talk to us. First of all, are you enjoying life in Plymouth?
Yes, definitely. I love it down here. The weather is starting to get better and the fans are really good. They will always come up to me and say what a good job the team has been doing. Then when we lose, they really stick by us and support us.
I would say my favourite player right now is Kobe Bryant. In terms of a player I try to base myself on, I like Kevin Love and how he plays. Williams on who he admires in Basketball
You have been voted as player of the month a couple of times this season, you must be pleased when you get this type of recognition?
That’s always cool. For me though, I really pride myself on when we win trophies. I want the Raiders to get a cup. It’s always good when people notice you and take notice of the fact that you are a good player. I’m definitely grateful for that.
Do you see your long term future with Plymouth?
I definitely see myself coming back here. It’s not really up to me though. It’s up to Gavin and everyone else as to whether they want me back. If they want me back, we can talk it out.
I definitely like it here and I’m enjoying myself. Everyone supports me when I am playing well and when I am playing badly. I like that they stick behind you.
Do you enjoy playing in the BBL? What do you make of the standard?
I think it’s a pretty high standard. Some people might not think so, but it think it is very high. There are some excellent players in this league and I like how the league is set up.
I played in Spain and it is a little different to there, but I like it here a lot. I enjoy the competition and the players. I think it is all a lot better than people think.
What are your early basketball memories?
My first memories aren’t playing it, but watching it. I remember being younger and always watching Michael Jordan. I remember all the battles, watching them and really getting into it. As young as eight or nine years old, I was watching these players and just wanted to be like them.
The early stages were definitely all about watching and just wanting to learn the game.
Who do you most admire from the world of basketball right now?
I would say my favourite player right now is Kobe Bryant. In terms of a player I try to base myself on, I like Kevin Love and how he plays. I have always liked Tim Duncan too. These are players I have always watched to see the things they do. I then try and bring this into my game where I can.
Back to the Plymouth Raiders, you must be ready for a strong finish to the season?
We are definitely trying to push up to 2nd. I mean, Newcastle probably have to lose every game, but if that does happen we will be there waiting for them. If it doesn’t happen, we are still trying to get a good spot in the play-offs and perhaps take on Newcastle in the final once again.
Thanks again to Paul for spending the time to talk to us. We wish him all the best for the rest of the BBL season.