It is time for us to sit down with another famous bearded man, this time around we have kept it local and spoken to one of the main players in the hugely successful Leicester Riders basketball team. Founded in 1967 The Leicester Riders are Britain’s oldest and most established basketball club and have seen a lot of success in recent years. Having won the treble in both the 16-17 and 17-18 seasons, the Leicester Riders made it into the Basketball Champions League meaning they will be the first British team to participate in the prestigious European competition since Guildford Heat in the ULEB Cup in 2007.
Measuring in at an eye wateringly tall 6ft 10, Harrison Gamble must have been put on this earth to be a basketball player! A forward for the Leicester Riders and a prolific shooter, we were keen to find out a bit more about Harrison’s early career, current thoughts on the season ahead – and of course most importantly – what products he uses to keep himself and his beard in top shape:
When did you start playing basketball and what made you decide basketball was the sport for you? Tell us a bit about your journey…
“As a kid I always played football when I was growing up. I started playing basketball at 16 years old, I played it in school when I was growing up but never for a team. In my first couple of years of playing I found myself in the England U18 squad followed by the GB U20 squad. My first season as a full-time professional was when I was 20 years old out in Spain for ‘CB Sant Josep Girona’. After 1 year there I signed for the Leicester Riders and I am now competing in my 6th season for them. I’ve had a few injuries over the years but thankfully nothing that has ruled me out for a season!”
Competing in Spain and England, did you find the style of play different or similar?
“I feel there is a big difference between basketball in England and Spain. Being a more popular sport out in Spain kids are playing from a very young age and it clearly shows with their leagues, they dominate the European basketball scene and are always the strongest European nation at Global and Olympic competitions.”
Are you ready for the upcoming season as there must be a lot of pressure with Leicester Riders achieving the treble in the 2016–17 and 2017–18 season?
“I feel like the squad is ready for this year, we can’t go on past seasons and trophies, all the teams are different this year including ours. We will just go out to win in every game we play in and see where we are when it comes to trophies at the end of the season.”
Tell us a bit about that beard, have you always sported a beard?
“I haven’t had a clean shave since I was 16 years old. I’ve always had a little stubble showing and I’ve kept it well groomed. I would say over the last 2/3 seasons I’ve started growing it longer. There was a few of us in the squad that would grow our beards for all the finals that we played in, hopefully we can continue that…maybe it was good luck.” (We have to agree with you there Harrison, everyone knows beards are good luck!)
Have you found that using a range of beard products is good for your beard? How are you liking the Bear Grooming range?
“Yes for sure I have found that using beard products helps massively, especially with keeping the skin moisturised and soft underneath. My favourite Bear Grooming product so far is the Beard Balm, i’ve been using it daily after showering – it smells and feels great!”
Lastly how is your preparation coming for the new season, will there be any Bear Grooming products creeping into the dressing room?
“Preparation for this season is pretty much sorted, starting with the European games and hitting the British Basketball League games later in October. The Bear Grooming Products will definitely be knocking about to help us to look good… After all, look good, feel good, play good!”