Anderson discusses the Giants’ potential ahead of Playoff run-in

By Jamie Thomas

They’ve had plenty of highlights this year already, but the
Manchester Giants have another chance at glory in the coming weeks as they get
set to attack the BBL Playoffs and make a run at securing a place in the finals
at the 02 Arena on May 15th.

Former Leicester Riders star Jamell Anderson has been a key
cornerstone of the Giants’ successful season thus far, with a BBL Cup Final appearance
and many strong performances in the Championships to show for their efforts,
and we caught up with him recently to look ahead to the post-season.

“It is an expectation for us at the start of the year, but reaching
the playoffs is still something we should take pride in. As individuals and
collectively we’ve made a lot of progress this year and learnt a lot, which is
a big thing for me because I always want to feel like I’m developing and

“There have been a lot of good moments, a lot of lessons as
well – some harder to take than others! – but there is a lot for us to be proud
of and the club has come a long way, so we’re excited to take that forward now
into the playoffs.

“Learning how to lead is something I’ve enjoyed doing as the
season has progressed. Everybody has their own tendencies and quirks, so there
isn’t one way to lead and I’ve tried to evolve and improve my understanding and
responsibility of how to lead different people in different situations,
alongside the other leaders in our team.”

“Our expectations have evolved throughout the year.”

Having already made it to one major final this year after
appearing in January’s BBL Cup Final at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena, the Giants will
have confidence that they can reach another after proving they can secure big
results in the two-legged knockout format this year.

Anderson concurred that the team’s previous experience this
year stands the team in good stead, but he is also well aware of just how
challenging the road ahead is and expressed his emotions about having to rise
to that challenge if they want to succeed.

“I think as one of the few teams to experience a Final this
year, where we have to perform and get a result or we don’t win the game,
having that experience can only help us be in good shape for the challenge of
the playoffs.

“The experience of losing the Cup Final did do a lot for us
as a group and we learnt from it individually and collectively. It can only
help us going into the Playoffs to have been in that environment and to have
responded to it in the way we did.

“The unpredictability of the league is so exciting. You have
to bring your best every single game and we know we’re facing a very tough
challenge as a team and on an individual level. Our expectations have evolved
throughout the year and we’re eager to rise to the challenge of what lays

“I don’t honestly know what
our potential is.”

A veteran of many successful
seasons during his time in the BBL, Anderson was a key acquisition for the
Giants and has starred for Lloyd Gardner’s team as they’ve progressed through
the season.

The GB Basketball forward has
been in great form for the Giants on both ends of the floor this year, and he discussed
how much he’s enjoyed the challenge of leading this new-look team and what
their potential can be ahead of the post-season.

“What is needed from me changes almost every game, and I’m
enjoying figuring out how I can give my best to the team every single night.
Playing a lot of minutes is awesome, but I’m pleased most of all that
physically I can match what is being asked of me because of how much I look
after myself away from the court with the help of Cryolab and David Lloyds

“I don’t honestly know where our potential is, because
whenever you feel like you’re in a good place there is always more you could be
doing to improve. I think we’ve shown flashes of how great we can be, but we’ve
lost a lot of games too and know we can do a lot better.

“We have a culture that encourages and allows people to want
to get better, not just this season but in years to come and although I don’t
know how good we can be, I’m excited to continue working to find out.”

Get your tickets for the BBL Playoff Finals and join us
for the showpiece finale to an epic season at London’s 02 Arena on May 15th

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