Errol Seaman was another key part of the 2005/6 National Cup winning side, helping Leopards II lift some silverware within 18 months of reforming. He briefly came out (National League) retirement in 017 to help long-time friend Steve Ogunjimi in the Big Cats’ ultimately futile attempt to avoid relegation. Prior to the 2011/12 Cup final, Tony Shorey caught up with the big man to discuss the Big Cats.
1. Who were you playing for before your time at the Leopards?
I played a season with the Reading Rockets, the team we beat in the Cup Final! I was fortunate enough to play on a very talented team that year, we won the National Cup and unfortunately lost in the playoff final.
2. I remember seeing you play for the now defunct Manchester Giants. Was your time there a world apart from anything else in British Basketball?
The Manchester Giants organisation was first class from top to bottom! I have very fond memories of my time there. It was my rookie season, having just graduated from North Georgia and I was very fortunate to play behind some fantastic players who were excellent professionals and people. We had so much talent that year, we actually lost in the two Cup Finals to Sheffield Sharks and London Towers, but we ended up winning the Northern Conference and the playoff final. It was sad that the team had to fold due to financial losses, I would have loved to remain there for several years.
3. How did you come to play for the Leopards?
I secured a teaching job in Hackney that summer and was looking for a competitive team this side of London. My close friend Steve Ogunjimi played for the Leopards the previous year. He spoke highly of the set up and I thought I could help the organisation. To this day my first year with the Leopards was my finest year as a basketball player.
4. Can you remember much about the build up and the Cup Final itself?
You know, Cup runs have a lot of elements that combine to bring success, a cohesive team, a talented team, some great individual performances and a bit of luck along the way! I remember some fine wins along the way, where everyone contributed some top performances. Once we got to the finals I was very confident, we had an excellent team that year, a complete team with facilitators, shooters, slashers, rebounders, defenders. It was a shame what happened with Demetrius because I believe we would have won the playoffs also. I remember being in total control of my game! I was feeding Troy for dunks, rebounding, scoring… but then I got into some early foul trouble and sat out the bulk of the game, but that was what was so special about that year’s team, we had some many pieces to compensate for my absence. I remember Steve O hitting a big 3 down the stretch! At that point I had won the National Cup 3 times in 4 years, but this was my most rewarding trophy because I was so integral to the team. I’ll never forget the VIP treatment the Leopards organisation put on for us before and after the final either, some great memories.
5. What have you been up to since leaving the Leopards?
Since leaving the Leopards I have been working as a Sports Science and Public Services Lecturer, I have also been doing some motivational speaking and personal development training for the past 3 years. On the basketball front, I have played the last three years for the Eastside Eagles, and I just got married this summer!
6. Do you keep in touch with many of your old team mates?
Apart from Steve O, who I see all the time, I definitely have to make more of an effort to stay in contact with the boys. Despite how our season ended we had a team that could have been dangerous for years, but unfortunately we play ball in the grand ole UK! LOL