Solent Stars - Jim Rumsey - 15 Minutes of Fame

Solent Stars had reached the ASDA Final, which was to be played in the Royal Albert Hall. The venue and the occasion had caught the public's attention thanks to the ongoing Channel 4 weekly screening of matches. Whilst Channel 4 was in its infancy, any approach by mainstream ITV was not to be ignored.

So it was that when Solent were approached to provide a piece for the breakfast time show we made arrangements for it to happen. The downside was that it had to be recorded early in the morning. Now basketball players are not renowned early risers. To get four of them, changed and ready to play by 8.45am, was always going to be a challenge.

Our opponents, Planters Leicester, would be watching to see if anything would be given away regarding our players, injuries, tactics etc. At the appointed time, despite threats, cajoling and bribery only three of the team plus Jim Kelly, the coach, were present. The ITV crew was adamant that while Jim Kelly was being interviewed there should be some basketball action in the background

I had made the venue available to the club and was standing by to watch the interview take place. Without a moment's hesitation - and in the persuasive way large basketball players have - I was sent to 'suit-up'. As Jim Kelly's interview progressed, we played out a two-on-two game (first to ten) Mark Saiers and myself v John Johnson and Mike Griffiths. Now, for the others this was yet another in the countless practice games. For me, however, it was a chance to prove that despite being a few (!) years older than the others my day had not yet gone. Mark and I won the game.

I often wonder whether Leicester - after seeing the interview - adopted their tactics to take account of this unknown free scoring 'older' player they had seen on TV that morning.

My identity remained a mystery since everyone else was interviewed but me …………… but, then, I had no breath left to speak anyway!

No comments: