Here at Ballers Abroad, we are always interested in learning more about basketball culture in other countries. Last week, we were able to talk to Byron Richards, who played for the Essex Leopards of the National Basketball League in England during the 2014-2015 season.
Ballers Abroad: What was your experience like as an American living in a foreign country?
Byron Richards: It was certainly an adjustment. There are a lot of things as far as culture shock that comes along with living in a foreign country that’s difficult for any American. I think that I really adjusted around my second season and grew into a real rhythm as far as living over there.
BA: Where do you think basketball in England is headed?
BR: I feel like it’s headed in a positive direction. Basketball is not only a great sport, but it’s an avenue for children of all ages to really funnel a lot of their creativity and their personality. Where I am from, kids living in rough neighborhoods were really essentially saved by staying so involved in the sport, and I feel like many places in London this is certainly the case and can be the case elsewhere in the UK. I also coached kids in England, and seeing how quickly they respond and how excited the sport gets them was always refreshing.
BA: What’s your favorite thing about the game of basketball?
BR: I think it’s the mix of singular creativity, with the embodiment of numerous creative individuals linking together. I’m a heavily creative person, and the possibilities basketball has presented me have always amazed me. Be it a new move, a new game, a new friend, a new team or even a new country – the creativity and the possibilities make basketball something I will always love.