Taking the Charge podcast

Podcast: Caleb Swanigan interview, comments from Antonis Koniaris, previewing FIBA World Cup, reviewing Robin Williams

Episode #101 of “Taking the Charge,” the weekly podcast on international basketball and various related/semi-related topics produced by yours truly and Germany-based sportswriter David Hein is now available for free download.

In the aftermath of the U17 FIBA World Championship, episode #101 of the podcast features interviews with a pair of rising talents from the tournament. At center – so to speak – is Team USA’s (very) big man Caleb Swanigan. The 6’8” high-school baller from Fort Wayne, Indiana, cracked this US roster as part of his upward trend through the prospect ranks in part due to some amazing conditioning which has seen him “slim down” from a whopping 350 pounds in eighth grade (!) to a still-monstrous 265. Though not starting for the gold-medaling squad in the U17 tournament, Swanigan was particularly key in the match against Serbia, a traditionally bruising, inside game-focusing side that simply could not answer his massive presence.

Currently being recruited by the likes of Michigan State, Georgetown, Perdue, Kansas, Ohio State, Duke and more, Swanigan tells “Taking the Charge” about the importance of playing for Team USA and hints at his future in basketball.

Also speaking with us is Antonis Koniaris, who joined Team Greece after competing in the FIBA U16 European Championship. Currently signed to Panathinaikos system after working up to a spot with top-division PAOK, Koniaris had us speculating as to the questionable benefit to players of Greek powerhouse clubs locking down homegrown prospects on long-term deals – as Koniaris points out, however, young stars may be had cheaply…

Of course, in wrapping this particular U17 tournament, we couldn’t stay away from talking up the sensation of the competition, Team Australia’s amazing seven-footer Isaac Humphries. Despite a performance in the gold medal game that couldn’t match his dominating performances in earlier matches, Humphries proved the revelation of the tournament with his amazing skills complimenting impressive size – a future NBA Draft lottery pick, to be sure.

In filling out the show, we briefly analyze the chances of a handful of squads in advance of the upcoming FIBA World Cup, including Team USA, Lithuania, Greece and Slovenia among others.

In the sports-movie-of-the-week feature, we pay homage to the late Robin Williams with a review of his sole sport-centric effort, The Best of Times (1986). From the pen of Ron Shelton, the screenwriter of some eight cinematic works including Bull Durham, Tin Cup, Blue Chips and the still brilliant White Men Can’t Jump, Best of Times represents Shelton’s second full-length feature script. It’s a glimpse of what would come from one of our favorites, a decent showcase of Williams’ acting range, and an excellent opportunity for sports flick fans to appreciate what a great American comic left as legacy.

“Taking the Charge” episode #101 is available for free download here or via iTunes.

Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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Tags: Basketball Prospects Caleb Swanigan FIBA World Cup Podcast Youth Basketball

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