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Bill Jones (Ex National Basketball League, 6'10") now plays Inline Hockey with Raptors ILHC

 

Name: William Lawrence Jones (Bill)
Age: 42
Team: Raptors
Grade: A
Position: Defence
Shoot (Left or right): Right
Favorite Band? None really I like all types of music mostly Rap & Funk
Favorite animal? Dog (Boxers)
Favorite Food? Steak
Favorite sport? Hockey of course
Favorite TV show? X files
Favorite Movie? Terminator
Favorite Hockey Team? Dallas Stars
Favorite Hockey Player? Mike Madono
 

 

KB: You have recently extended your family. Is life different as a Father?
BJ: Just a bit, sleepless nights, not of my own making and a greater focus of family matters. I can't wait until I can take him everywhere I go. The amount of planning needed to do the simplest things.
KB: If you had a son what sport would you prefer him to play?
BJ: It is a boy and as for the sport, what ever he wants to play. I think what his friends play will probably have a bigger influence than I. I first want him to have fun at it and learn the lessons of sport that transfer over to life. So if he has fun at whatever he chooses I hope it will lead to a positive outlook on life and his attitude.
KB: We have all worked out you are very tall. Exactly how tall are you?
BJ: 6 foot 9 inches or there about (2.03cm)
KB: Rumour has it that you played professional basketball, Is this true? BJ: Yes that is true. Adelaide 36ers, Gippsland Lakers, Geelong Super Cats and Bayside Blues in Frankston.
KB: How long did you play for?
BJ: In Australia 1985-1994 In South and Central America for 3 years.
KB: Which American College did you attend and play at?
BJ: University of Northern Iowa
KB: Did you play with or against any famous basketballers we may have heard of?
BJ: In the USA probably not, here in Australia just about all the house hold names you here of, Leroy Loggins, Al Green, Mark Davis, Shane Heal, Andrew Gaze, Mark Bradkey, James Crawford, Brendan Joyce, Scott Fisher all the mid 80's guys that are nearing the end of there careers and some that were just youngsters back in the 80's and now in the middle of their careers.
KB: Do you think inline hockey is capable of the same success Basketball has had in Australia?
BJ: Yes I do. I liken Hockey as it is now as to how basketball was in the early 80's and facing the same growing pains. Those being the steps needed to move from a very large cult following to a main stream sport. Not to mention the associated sponsorship and media awareness battles that need to be won. Hockey I think will have it a bit harder because of the fitout required considering children grow up and out of the gear so fast as well as the small number of available locations to play the sport. It's not like there is suitable flat surface or rink on every corner or school yard to assist in the awareness of the sport. However when you look at the number of children with roller blades a natural progression is to get a stick in their hands. Our job is to make people aware of Hockey and paint the sport in a good light.
KB: How long have you been playing inline hockey?
BJ: 3-4 years.

 

KB: How did you get started?
BJ: I bought a pair of skates, thereafter a guy I worked with asked me to come a have a try. That was 3 to 4 weeks after I bought the things. You can imagine what I looked and played like, but I liked it and have not looked back. Believe me, I was great entertainment for the parents in the court we were living in at the time. As I got better, one by one they told me of the times when they watched out of their windows thinking I would never survive the learning process.
KB: Do you find your height a disadvantage or an advantage when playing hockey?
BJ: Both but in different situations. It's a disadvantage in close but an
advantage when muscling about in close. My stance can be wide at times which allows a player to puck handle through your legs every now. My reach is a advantage it they have to get around me or get the puck off me. Ya make do with what tools you have and make others play into your strength as much as possible. Karl, I would not want to be in a sprint race with YOU to win a game, no way fella.
KB: Are there aspects playing Professional Basketball that you are able to use while playing hockey?
BJ: So much it you would not believe. Creating time and space, timing, anticipation defensive rotation, picks not to mention the mental side of the game.
KB: Do you play other sports?
BJ: Not now but I have played competition table tennis in the past as well.
KB: Most memorable hockey moment?
BJ: C grade grand final win. Go Raptors.
KB: Most memorable sporting moment?
BJ: The Adelaide 36er NBL Grand Final win in 1986.
Thank you Big Bill

 

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