Our Director of Basketball and Basketball England’s Head of Talent and Performance Steve Bucknall knows what it takes to succeed.

The trailblazing first Englishman to play in the NBA talks about his life in the game – from South London to Los Angeles – and his plan to create two medal-winning teams on the road to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Bucknall started his life in the game as a junior at Crystal Palace before moving to America and the University of North Carolina. After being drafted by the LA Lakers, he went onto enjoy a lengthy career both domestically and across Europe that also involved a 2006 Commonwealth Games bronze medal.

As a well-respected coach, who set up his club own club London Thunder, the 56-year-old oversaw the England U18 Men’s side that gained promotion to Division A in 2012, before earning a highly respectable ninth place finish in the top tier in 2013. Bucknall’s mission is to mastermind two medal winning basketball teams, as 3×3 makes it’s debut at Birmingham 2022.

“We found out that the Commonwealth Games were going from 5v5, to 3×3. So, we had to get our heads wrapped around this format and how we were going to make two medal winning teams. And we had a successful campaign last summer. The girls made it to the European Finals. The men’s missed it by one game, but we think there’s more to come. And this summer, I guess we’ve got to prove it.”

Original article appeared on Basketball England’s website