Howard : Basketball skills transferable to goalkeeping

January 17, 2013

Tim Howard, photo courtesy of Pitch MediaTim Howard will be in London this evening to watch his beloved New York Knicks play as part of NBA London Live, and talks about his passion for the sport he grew up watching.

How did you get into basketball?
I’ve been playing basketball as long as I can remember. It’s such an easy sport to get involved in, all you need is a ball and a hoop. I still have a hoop in my garden now and play from time-to-time when the weather is nice but I’m a bit out of practice.

I probably could have played ball in college but football took over. My dream when I was a kid was to be Michael Jordan.

How has basketball helped your goalkeeping?
I wouldn’t say it is directly linked but clearly the hand-eye coordination is transferable. Certainly playing a lot of basketball when I was younger can’t have hurt my goalkeeping.

What is your NBA team?
For me it has to be the New York Knicks. I grew up watching them and you have to stick by your team. I remember watching us lose to the Spurs in the 1999 NBA Finals – that hurt, we had such a good team who did so well to get so far.

I think the Knicks can do well this year. We have a good team with some great players – Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Jason Kidd – so many big names who seem to be working really well together.

Who will win at NBA London Live 2013 at the O2 on Thursday when the New York Knicks take on the Detroit Pistons?
The Knicks obviously. The Pistons are good and have some exciting young players but I have to back my boys. I’m going to be there Thursday cheering them on and I can’t wait. To see my team playing in the UK will be a real thrill.

John Starks was always my favourite player, he worked so hard and did so well to get to where he did. He’s a true Knicks legend and I’d love to get the chance to meet him while he’s in London for the game. I was very excited when I heard he was coming over for the game.

- The Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks go head-to-head at The O2 on January 17 as part of NBA London Live presented by adidas. Watch the game live on Sky Sports in HD and 3D. #NBALondon