The UK finally has a hoops publication to call its own.
If you thought that one of the world’s most populated countries had one of the world’s most popular sports thoroughly covered, you’d have thought wrong. Until now, that is.
After more than a decade without a magazine devoted exclusively to basketball in the UK, newly introduced Fadeaway is here to fill the void. Founded by Jake Green and Mike Baptiste, the goal of the new mag, according to editor Greg Tanner, is to cover all aspects of the game, “from the NBA, to the Euroleague, to streetball, and the associated lifestyle and culture—with an urban, edgy, and very British twist.”
Tanner has been on the media side of the game for a minute and around it for even longer. From founding two successful sites over the last 10 years—streetball.co.uk in 2000 and basketball247.co.uk last year—to producing documentaries, hosting a weekly basketball magazine show for UKTV, and interviewing big time figures like Michael Jordan and David Stern, the London native’s love for and knowledge of hoops is well-documented, and, not surprisingly, it shines through in his new publication.
The inaugural installment of Fadeaway fulfills each of the magazine’s promises. Despite being a European publication, some cat from the States named LeBron graces the cover of Issue 1 because, well, he’s LeBron (I think all SLAM staffers and readers know that a LeBron cover here and there never hurt anyone). The accompanying feature artfully attempts to grapple with The King’s greatness as well as the Great Debate—where he stands in comparison to Kobe (although No. 24 may have swayed some of those on the fence Sunday night). Other features include some love for London’s native son and current Toronto Raptor Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a spotlight on Jerry West, and a first-person account of what it was like to beat Devin Harris, penned by internet sensation and Greg’s brother, Stuart Tanner.
In the same vein as SLAM, Fadeaway offers more than just basketball news and notes. A story on rising British MC Chipmunk as well as director Kolton Lee and his upcoming film Freestyle broaden the mag’s scope. Plus, contests and giveaways that include t-shirts, balls and other memorabilia give readers even more to like.
Tanner believes that now’s as good a time as any for a British basketball magazine to surface, and he may be right. As London prepares for 2012 Olympics, new facilities are being erected throughout the city and many within the UK hoops world or with rooting interests in the success of the typically maligned Team Great Britain feel that the upcoming Games can be used as a springboard. Tanner tackles this possibility and the team’s overall recent improvement in a forward-looking feature on his country’s squad.
Without a doubt, Fadeaway is ready to make some noise by tapping into a seemingly untapped overseas market. If they continue to serve a dish featuring the NBA’s megastars and Europe’s best ballers sprinkled with some local flavor, and maybe catch a little luck, Tanner’s creation may have the good fortune to not fade away for a while. Plus, they use words like defence (defense), mum (mom), and whilst (while), and that’s just plain old entertaining for an American like me.
Be sure to check out more online here.