At Marjon, Will is completing a degree in Sports Therapy whilst pursuing a career in the BBL with the Plymouth City Patriots. But how did he get here?
Last Summer, whilst playing in 3×3 tournaments Will caught the eye of fan favourite Elvisi Dusha, who he’s known since his teens. He suggested Will come to Plymouth Marjon University to join our scholarship programme to pursue an education alongside what he loves – basketball. Allowing him to compete at a professional level whilst also pursuing education, developing his game to a point where he could join the Plymouth City Patriots when he’s ready.
Joining the program last minute in October with the season and term already underway, he’s loved every second since.
When asked what it’s like being an athlete and a full-time student, Will told us that it was a “heavy, heavy schedule” with it being both “great and tough”. He participates in three basketball teams, two training schedules, practicing with the Patriots on court every day, as well as participating in S&C daily, all while maintaining his university schedule and outside commitments. He also says that adapting to university life has been an interesting challenge, taking on board everything he’s doing as well as learning to look after himself fully, calling it “tough, but so much fun”, being a “great growing experience”.
Back home in London he enjoys coaching; paying back what his coaches have taught him and wholeheartedly believes being a role model to younger ballers is integral to the development of the sport and growing it in the community, saying that he was “gifted that opportunity from the coaches throughout his life, and he wants to put it back out there into the world as much as possible.”
When asked about how he finds the motivation for everything he has on his plate, Will told us that he’s “just been basketball obsessed for such a long time, having the belief that it was going to work out through thick and thin”.
That belief kept him going through injuries and mental struggles. To him, basketball is a drug – he loves it so much that he just gets an itch if he isn’t doing it, with the other players around him telling him to take a break sometimes. It’s what he loves to do and enjoys the good times and the tough times all the same.
Sport Therapy is the perfect course to Will – it provides him with a deeper understanding of the sport which gives him drive, as well as aiding his understanding of how the body works under pressure, and how to fix it, which is especially important to him when understanding his previous injuries. Being able to learn from doing rather than sitting at a desk is a big advantage to him of his course, and that learning style is shown through his burning dedication to basketball.
Life before Marjon:
Starting out playing basketball in Primary School, Will quickly ascended the ranks under important figures in his career, fighting through injuries and mental blocks, making his way to his first club, London Pulse under 14s, then London Elite Under 16s, the Under 17s EUBL, winning the national championship with the London Regional Program and CoLA Basketball.
Throughout his life, Will has looked up too many influential figures, with Coach Pete, Afiz and Daniel, who helped him develop the fundamentals of his game, and attributes as key people in his ascent to where he is now.
Before coming to Marjon, the road for Will had been rocky from time to time, suffering with a partial ACL tear, an avulsion fracture in his left ankle, and to top it off, Covid-19 hit making Will feel lost. He wanted to go to America to pursue a career in basketball but didn’t feel it was the right time.
Being out of the game for two years wavered his confidence. However, he now thinks that if he had have gone to the US, it would have had a negative impact on him and his career due to the place he was in mentally.
Will then went to Brunel for a year, sitting in a limbo of not knowing – not knowing what he wanted to do or what he was doing, having more injuries and tendonitis.
Looking back on this time now, he can now see that during that period he didn’t have a direction he wanted to go in and didn’t know which pathway to take.
To Will, the Patriots mean family, calling it “a family from top to bottom, with love and respect from everyone”.
“As a rookie, I understand my role in the team and the part I play”. He calls his recent appearances getting to play in the BBL Trophy games an incredible experience and is allowing him to better understand the level of play he needs to meet. However, the Patriots to him aren’t just the ‘guys’, it’s the fans too – with the fans cheering for him in the appearances he had being mind-blowing to him.
He commends everyone he speaks about on the team, from Ollie, the Physio, Nutritionists, S&C staff, nutritionists, and everyone else in between – but especially PJ and Joe, with PJ being a massive influence on him with the Patriots, and Joe helping him develop as a player and integrate into university life.
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