Mark Jackson, from FIMBA o45 Men, takes time-out to speak to us about his basketball career and his clothing company ALL IN.
Mark started playing basketball when he was twelve at a local club in Southampton and quickly found a passion for the sport which drew him away from football. He played for the county team for many years as well as making the England Schools squad at the U15 age group.
His hard work gained him a scholarship to Barat College in Chicago at 17 where he played at the NAIA level making the all CCAC conference first team in his junior and senior years.
He graduated in 1999 and returned home to join the Thames Valley Tigers in the BBL. “We made the finals up at Wembley that season which kind of put my name on the map after beating Manchester in the semi-finals. We lost to London Towers in the finals but was a great intro into BBL basketball.” said Mark. “I stayed at Thames Valley for three season before moving to Brighton Bears then coached by Nick Nurse. I stayed there one season before retiring to Southampton to play for Solent Stars. I stayed there for several seasons before helping to create the Southampton Trailblazers Men’s National League side.
Alongside playing I have coached at the junior level and university level for a number of years. “I believe that we get old because we stop playing and was recently called Peter Pan as I refuse to believe it’s time to hang the shoes up – I now play in the over 45’s FIMBA GB Maxiballers team, and I am very much looking forward to representing Great Britain in the forthcoming FIMBA European Championships. I also currently teach full time at Brockenhurst College in Hampshire. I have been there 15 years teaching sport as well as running the basketball Program.
I now run the ’All In’ brand as well. “All In” was created and aimed at all those players who have gone ‘all in’. It’s for all players, coaches, volunteers and fans that give everything to the game we all love. Age doesn’t matter as it’s about the mind-set of going all in and trusting in the process of getting better. For ex pros who gave a massive portion of their life to the game and to all those coaches who have helped guide players to reach their dreams. To the young aspiring players it’s a message of I’m going all in and giving everything. Not cheating the process and taking short cuts. No excuse about missing a run because it’s cold or it’s early. Understanding there is more than just getting up shots to get through.”
Mark said “We created a retro basketball section after players expressed an interest the retro clubs they used to play for and a need to want to wear the old logos proudly. We offer polos and sweatshirts, hoodies, and hats. Long and short sleeve t shirts”. ‘All In’ merchandise can be viewed on their website www.allin.uk.com
We wish Mark and ‘All In’ the very best for the future.