Player Spotlight: Josh McSwiggan

Josh McSwiggan returns for his second season in the EABL with Charnwood, looking to help the Loughborough based college build on their first ever post-season appearance in 2012-13. The final cut of the England Under-18s that competed in the Division A European Championships this summer, the 6’7″ wing will be hoping to prove his worth for national team duty in the coming season, whilst building upon his BBL debut with Leicester Riders last season.

Name: Josh McSwiggan

Height: 6’7″

Position: Guard/Forward

Team: Charnwood College

What made you first start playing basketball, how old were you and how long have you been playing now?I used to play at a high level of football, I started to grow taller and at around 13/14 years old basketball caught my eye at school and from there on basketball became my life.

How would you describe your game?
I would say I have a versatile game, as I’m 6ft7 guard, I’m a good shooter, very athletic, can handle the ball well and also be a facilitator.

You were involved with the England Under-18s this summer, being one of the final cuts – how difficult was that and what did you learn from your time with the national team programme?
I found it difficult when I got cut but I understood I wasn’t ready to step up to Division A. I learnt that I need to take my chances whilst I have them and showcase what attributes I have in my game.

Last year you made your debut in the BBL, how was that for you? What were the big differences from playing junior ball?
It was such a great experience and I’m grateful for Coach Paternostro for giving me that opportunity. The game was more physical, more up tempo, which I think was a good experience in terms of being similar to the American College game.

What do you like to do off the court when you aren’t playing?
I’m still in education so I have study, but I do like spending time with friends and family.

Are there any players you look up to or base your game on? Who are they and why?
I look up to and try to base my game on Jamell Anderson because of his work ethic, as a person he’s down to earth and on the basketball court myself and him play similar roles.

Which players have been your toughest competition in the EABL?
My toughest competition has probably been Elliott Sentance and Jordan Spencer last year, as every game I played against them they balled out.

Last season Charnwood went 11-5 before being knocked out in the first round of the playoffs to Loreto – how would you evaluate the team’s season?
The season was like a roller coaster ride, we had our ups and downs but I couldn’t have asked to play with a better group of people to go through it with. It was disappointing that we got knocked out so early but sometimes these things happen in basketball careers.

How are you feeling about Charnwood’s roster this season and how far you can go?
I think the new players coming into the academy are very talented and the new staff will help us develop really well. Some of the players like Jamie Percival and Emanuel burton aren’t well known in British basketball but they’re going to go to work this year, I think this team can go all the way to at least a top four finish.

What are your personal goals for this season?
This season I want to put on a bit more weight and work on my handle, just to try and make it harder for people to guard me. It would be nice I add a few more inches to my vertical as well.

What are your hopes for the future, both the next couple of years and then longer term?
My goals for the next few years would be to make the GB U20s team and hopefully go to Europeans and then once my A levels are done, I have hopes of going to the states and possibly make NCAA Div 1 depending how much I improve. Maybe in the long term it would be good to play professional basketball anywhere in the world as it’s any sportsman’s dream to get paid for playing the sport they love
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