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Thursday 23 October 2014

Catching up with sporting hero Brian Reid

Brian Reid studied his Masters in Project Management at Solent. Now a sporting hero, Brian tells us about his Basketball career in EBL National League Division 3 playing as power forward.

Brian, you come from America. Tell us about your sporting career over there and why have you decided to come to Southampton?

I have been playing basketball since I was a small child but started to take it more seriously when I was 15 or 16. Basketball has opened several doors for me on and off the court, but I took the road less travelled. Going to various schools and colleges for different reasons out of my control. But attending Lauringburg Charter School (High School), when I was 15, is when I started to understand the opportunity that basketball could give me if I worked at it.

Lauringburg was a well-known basketball school when I attended there, from 2003-2005. These were some of the years that really shaped my basketball future. I remember vividly the classic battles with some my close friends, Marcus Neal, Kris Douse, and Antoine Watson just to name a few.

Brian Reid

Back then I wasn’t that good and could recall always having to work harder to become better. In the end we have all went on to play professional basketball at different levels.

The reason I decided to come to Southampton was first to take advantage of the opportunity to further my education. I am getting my Masters in Project Management while also doing what I love to do, play basketball.

What is your biggest sporting achievement?

Winning National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) State championship in the state of Alabama and the team being ranked 7th in the nation in the NCJAA.

You have already played in the US (North Carolina), UK (Mansfield Giants) and Brazil (Areo Osasco) before joining Team Solent. How would you rate the level of the leagues in the UK and Brazil compared to the US?

Basketball in the UK is growing but still has improving to do when it comes to the overall popularity, support, and funding of the sport. I believe only basketball players, coaches, and fans understand. Here in the UK the standards are decent but could be a lot better.

In Brazil Basketball has a huge fan base and people really get involved. In Osasco, which is 30 mins outside San Paulo, the atmosphere was bananas. The fans would be singing songs in Portuguese, beating on trash cans, cheering and everything. Each and every city really came out to support their team. This might be due to the success of Nene Hilario, Tiago Splitter, and Anderson Varejao all Brazilian natives who play in the NBA.

The US is in a league of its own as we seen in the Fifa world cup. Until other countries spark the interest of kids at a young age I don’t see this changing. We start out so young learning the game that things I learned when I was 7 or 8 are just starting to be introduced at age 12 or so. It is like the rest of the world loves soccer (football) but in America we suck, point blank period. It is that way because we don’t develop the skills necessary early enough to compete with other nations who have learned from birth almost.

You are a scholar. How has the Sport Solent scholarship benefited you?
It made the opportunity possible to come here, play basketball and earn my Masters. Without the Sport Solent Scholarship it would not have been possible for me to do that.

Brian signing t-shirts.

Why did you choose to be part of the High Performance Academy (HPA)?

Once I found out that Southampton Solent University was one of the leaders in the sports field then it sparked my interest to see what it is about. I always want to learn new ways to stay on top of my game and become even better. Therefore, being a part of the High Performance Academy was easily done.

How does the High Performance Academy team helps you to stay competitive at the highest level?

We are still in the process of working out the schedule but the things that they provide that I will defiantly use is the physical, nutritional, and mental coaching. Training your body physically is only one part of a much larger picture to being a high level athlete. For me I am a bit of a snack eater, Jaffa Cakes and I get along very well even though they are not the best choice for nutrition – Hahahaha.

I see you have a fan page on Facebook. How does it feel to be a celebrity?

I personally don’t consider myself a celebrity even though to some I might be. I aspire to be more of a role model to those around me; from coaching in schools, promotional events, or leading with my actions. Letting them know that anything is possible no matter where you come from or what circumstances. With hard work and detection anything is possible.

Brian and the kids.

What advice would you give to any youngster wanting to become a professional athlete?

You can do anything through hard work and detection. So, dream and dream big always wanting to be at the top of your sport. At the same time use your skill to prepare for life after you have finished playing your sport. We all want to play forever but the reality is, the playing time is limited and we should never forget that. Play with 110% while you can.

What are your plans after graduation?

Honestly, I’m not sure yet. I know my playing career isn’t over yet and that I want to play in better leagues. So I can continue to keep pushing towards one day being in the NBA….

Brian has his own Facebook fan page.

For more information on our High Performance Academy (HPA), contact the team using Facebook.