By Jamie Thomas
Securing their highest finish in the BBL Championship since
the 2013/14 season, the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks were best of the rest behind
the Leicester Riders this year as they secured second place in the league and
are full of momentum and positivity going into the BBL Playoffs.
One of the stars of the Sharks’ super season has been Rodney
Glasgow Jr., and he’ll no doubt be key to the success of Coach Atiba Lyons’
side if they’re to have a deep run into the post-season. We caught up with him
recently to find out more.
“My emotions are full of happiness and pride to be honest. I
joined this team a little later in the season and to see how we’ve progressed
from then to now is just night and day in terms of the difference in the group.
“We’ve got a great roster here, full of good guys who are
trying to play the right way. Securing a spot for the playoffs so early can
only be done through consistently good performances, a strong culture, great
coaching and having the right guys.
“To have clinched a playoff spot for 27 years consecutively
as well tells you how much this club is doing right, and I’m just glad that
during my time here we’ve been able to continue that tradition and hopefully we
can take that further and have success in the playoffs too.”
“Having guys that are so selfless is all that you can ask
After an up-and-down start to the campaign, the Sharks have
been rolling in the new year and powered their way to the second seed with
games to spare – which is quite the feat in such a competitive season.
Glasgow Jr., a relatively late arrival to the team,
discussed how the team has grown and developed in that time and what excited
him most about the roster.
“We’ve evolved so much across the floor in my time here, I
think. Coach Lyons has been brave and not afraid to make changes to the roster
to get the results this club should be getting, and his bravery has paid off as
the team has done really well.
“Antwain (Johnson) has propelled our team even more in the
right direction since he’s arrived, and it is really exciting to think of our
potential, but it has been great to see guys like Kipper (Nichols) and Jordan
(Ratinho) as well so willing to sacrifice and change their roles for the
benefit of the team.
“Having guys that are so selfless, as we do across the
roster, is all that you can ask for. Everybody is buying into and understanding
their role, and for me as one of the leaders here I’ve enjoyed my own personal
growth too and growing together with this team.”
“Every good team goes through adversity at some point.”
Whilst other teams have had good and bad form in spurts throughout
the year for the most part, the Sharks have been consistently solid during the
crucial stages of the season.
Glasgow Jr. discussed how pleased he is that the team went
through their difficult spells earlier in the year and how he as a leader of
the group has tried to help develop the strong form that has found them success
in recent months.
“Every good team goes through adversity at some point, and
we’re glad we went through it at the beginning of the season and not now where
it is time to do the business. It is a credit to this team that we’ve bonded so
well because of that adversity earlier in the season.
“As a leader I’ve tried to lead by example as much as
possible and put extra work in, as well as sharing my mentality with the rest
of the group. I’ve tried to be the best extension of Coach that I possibly can,
and we have a great relationship. Mike Tuck has put me in the position to lead
as well and I’m really thankful for that as its his team and I just want to
come in and help it find success.
“We know that we are a good team and we have high
expectations for ourselves, but we owe our fans some success this season as
well. We’ve worked so hard to get here and having a home court advantage for
the playoffs at a packed Ponds Forge is going to be huge for us.”
“It is all about just making the right play.”
This time of year is often associated with teams somehow ‘finding
another level’ as the pressure ramps up and the wins mean more and more, so we
put the question to the Sharks veteran of just how much better this team can
bet when it is all on the line in the coming weeks, with a place at the 02
Arena at stake.
“We know that there is another level we can get to. Over the
last few weeks we’ve been really good and we feel like we’re peaking at the
right time, but we’ve definitely got another few gears to find and when we hit
those heights I think we’ll be a really scary team to come up against.
“The quality of the BBL is growing all the time, and it
makes for a really exciting and unpredictable playoff race. Upsets can happen
at any time, and every team will have to stay focussed on doing their job
because otherwise you could be going home early.
“I don’t feel any pressure – to play basketball professionally is a blessing and I love those moments where the game gets tight and the stakes are higher. I’ve been in those moments before and I’m so excited because you live to play in these moments. It is all about just making the right play.”
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 here!