Q&A : Andrew Betts
BBL Andrew Betts is one of British basketball's fastest rising stars. The seven foot Leicestershire-born centre has come a long way since making his British League debut for the Riders back in 1993.
Since then, the now 22 year old has come through a college career at Long Beach State University in California where he made such an impact that the NBA scouts came looking in droves.
Eventually selected in fiftieth place in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, Betts elected to spent his rookie campaign in Italy with Teamsystem Bologna, where he played a key role in the club's progress to the last four of the Euro League.
This season, the England international is showcasing his skills in Italy's Serie A with Reggio Emilia, as a key part of their challenge on both domestic and Korac Cup fronts. England coach Laszlo Nemeth will surely be hoping that he will form a big part of the national team's quest to reach the European Championship finals in 2001.
He took time out to answer some of your questions in Hoopchat Q&A.
How would you advise young (high school) UK ballers to get noticed by US
colleges? Particularly those who are not affiliated to a big UK organisation (e.g. a BBL youth team).
Respect, Stuart Pinnell (Maindy Panthers). Cardiff, UK.
I think the best thing to do is to first try to get someone to video tape your games. Then you must look at them and find a game where you had a good overall game on offence, defence, passing etc.
Then make up a resume of yourself with your school grades, basketball information, home address, phone number etc., which is going to be
important to get into a college. Then find the addresses of the colleges
you are interested in. Be realistic!! Don't aim for Duke and North Carolina
as these schools only really take the absolute best high school players.
You could get the addresses off the internet or from a US college guide. Make
up a lot of copies of the tape and the resume and then send them to the
college's basketball office.
Remember school is important if you have good grades they are more likely to
want you too !! Good Luck!!!
Hope all is going well in Italy. when are you coming back to play some
more games for the Riders? We could do with you at the minute.
cheers, Mark Edward
I am really grateful to the Leicester Riders for the help they gave me in developing my game and helping me get to America. I don't think i will be playing for them in the future as I am now trying to make a name for myself in Italy and my ultimate aim is to get to the NBA with Charlotte. But I still follow the Riders on Britball and wish them luck for the season.
Do you at all follow the BBL and if so how do you see this coming season
shaping up? Also what players will catch our eyes from your point of
Roger Grooms Derby
I do follow the BBL on Britball.com and I watch many of the games on SKY as i do have it here in Italy. I think the contenders in the BBL will be Sheffield, Manchester, London Towers and I think Edinburgh will be a surprise this season to. I think my friend and England team-mate Yorick Williams will have another good season . Steve Bucknall is back in the country and will be a major force in the league I believe. There are also a bunch of new exciting Americans in the league this year.
Do you still have the urge to seek out a career in the NBA?
John Officer, Lisburn , Northern Ireland
Yes I do still have a major will to get to the NBA. I played in the Atlanta summer league this summer with the team that drafted me Charlotte and it went very well. I want to go when the time is right and I can be a force in the NBA. I don't want to go and sit on the bench. Charlotte still watch me all the time and in the next couple of years I want to be with them.
What made you choose Long Beach State University above all others?
I chose Long Beach because of three reasons 1.
The assistant coach was Clyde Vaughan who is English. 2 The location (Sunny
California) 3. It is Division 1.
What did you feel like when your name was called out during the NBA
It was the best feeling of my life to be one of the few in the world to be drafted into the NBA. It really made all my work over the past six years worth it. It will feel even better when I take the court for Charlotte in the next few years.
What is your daily routine like as a player in Italy ?
My daily routine now consists of :
9.00 am wake up
10.00-12.30 individual morning practice
Lunch and after a little nap (very important!!!!!)
5.00-7.30 team practice
Dinner and free time.
What do you think of Emilia's Chances in A1 ?
It will be a up and down season for us as we are by far the youngest team in the league. All the players work hard and have good attitudes and we have started better than people expected already so I am happy with our chances.
Who has had the most influence on your career to date?
Sarah Harris, Newcastle
There has been three main influences on my career. First and foremost my parents who have always supported me and been there through good and bad. The next two are Coaches. Dick Barret who was my junior coach with Leicester helped me greatly when i first started playing and also as my career has progressed and showed me the basics of being a pro basketball player. Clyde Vaughan who was a coach at Long Beach helped me develop my game greatly and therefore get drafted in the NBA.
Do you think there should be as many Americans allowed to play in
British and European basketball ?
Dear M Lassiter
Britain is different than the rest of Europe. In Italy you can have a maximum of two foreigners (non-Western Europe) which gives the chance for the Italians to play in their own country. I think it is very bad for the English players that you can
have so many Americans as most of the time this puts them on the bench not
playing. Our country will never develop in this way.
Thank you everyone for your questions..!!
Look out for the next Hoopchat Q&A soon on Britball.com
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