It’s been some year so far for former Blaze Player Sean Nealon Lino! Commonwealth Games, GB U20 squad, trip to Dallas on the young leader programme, Deng ranked #8…etc.. are just a few of the highlights so far. Following this, Sean has now flown out to Fresno, California to settle in to the next chapter of his studying and basketball. Blaze recently caught up with Sean before the move for a quick Q&A session, detailed below. You’ll be able to follow Sean on the ‘Fresno Pacific Sunbirds’ website #31 and we’ll be asking Sean for regular updates and progress on life across the pond! Best of luck Sean from all at Blaze Basketball!!
What was like being coached by Rob Beveridge, particularly so close to the start of the games?
Being coached by Rob beveridge was an honour and I loved every moment of it. Even though we had very little time with him before competing at the CWG, he recognised our strengths and weaknesses immediately and adapted the way we played to hide our weaknesses and play to our strengths. He didn’t switch any of our tactics up, he just tweeked them as well as adding to them to make it much more effective.
You won against England, Cameroon, India and Nigeria and played against New Zealand. What was your favorite game and why?
For me personally beating Nigeria was the highlight of the tournament , just because the chances of us beating them were very slim and nobody in the world though we were going to win. Being able to play with my great teammates in front of so many people in a wonderful arena is lifelong memory that I will forever cherish.
How important was the Deng Camp to you? (Sean was ranked #8!!)
Deng camp was very important to me both the years I attended. The first year I went was the year that I just moved down to England. I was one of two Scottish players to get invited. This camp allowed me to compare myself against the best players in the UK both in my age group and the year above. It also allowed me to meet a few of my teammates before the season at Barking Abbey started. My second year there, I had just recovered from knee surgery during the summer, so it was my first proper challenge playing basketball since being injured. It was extremely tough but i loved every moment. There was 4 Scottish guys in attendance at this camp, which showed progress compared to previous years.
How do you balance schoolwork and basketball?
Balancing school work and basketball is extremely tough but it all really comes down to time management. Most kids these days love their electronics (phones, iPads, Xbox, PS4’s etc.) and can spend several hours on them. I personally was never addicted to my phone or played many video games which allowed me to have some time to spend on my school work. But for kids that do play with electronics all they have to do is cut down maybe just an hour or two a day to just study and focus on school work. For anyone that is trying to go to the states it is crucial for them to have their schoolwork sorted out because only being good at basketball will not allow you to be able to attend a prep/highschool and university in America.
You recently travelled to Dallas after your nomination for the Michael Johnson Young Leaders programme. Can you tell us a little about what your goals are as part of the programme and the trip to Dallas?
The trip to Dallas was a great one, I got to meet many people from all over the world and completely different backgrounds. It gave me a greater global outlook and taught me a lot about myself and how to interact with different types of people. My goals as a Michael Johnson young leader is to inspire young kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to firstly get involved with basketball as well as teaching them about their bodies and how to increase the longevity of their career. This will involve injury prevention, s&c etc.
What are you most looking forward to about College in Fresno?
I can’t wait to get over to America and start playing with my new teammates and coaches. I really like the setup at FPU, the coaches are very committed to not only my basketball but to me as a person as well. He has spent his time getting to know my family and everything about me and has shown me nothing but love and appreciation. So I can’t wait to get over there and start competing.
What does a typical training day for yourself consist of?
A typical training day for me changes depending what time of year it is, if it’s during the season i start with shooting at 7 before school. Normally have one/two individuals with my coaches at Barking, and one practice that lasts for 90 minutes. I also have two/three S&C sessions a week so instead of an individual I’ll do S&C. The S&C session will Include speed and power exercises to make me quicker and stronger to help me during the season.
During the off-season I normally start with a morning workout and then I got to the gym to do some muscle hypertrophy training. This involves doing low reps with heavy weights. This helps me gain muscle mass and strength. I will then go for a swim or just stretch and then in the afternoon i will go for a scrimmage or another workout.
What is your advice to Blaze Player who want to follow in your footsteps?
You have to stay persevering and believe In yourself and your abilities, there’s going to be many times where you will want to quit because you’re not playing well/not getting enough minutes. But if you continue working hard and giving it your all, the work will pay off. Also do the stuff that a coach can’t tell you to stop doing e.g rebounding, hustling and playing defence. If you do all of these things there is no reason why a coach won’t want you on court.
Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration is my mum, she does everything in her power to provide for me and my little brother to make our life easier.
Who is your favourite player of all time?
My favourite player of all time is probably Lebron James just because he is so dominant.
What do you miss most about Scotland and Blaze?
My family and my friends and home cooking, cooking for myself is tiring.
What’s better, Palace or Supreme? (- as far as bball, we hear at Fresno it’s all about Nike and Vapormax!)
I don’t really wear either but if I was to choose it would be supreme.