The first season of the new-look Essex & Herts Leopards proved a bit of an eye-opener for the fans running the club. But we did have a stroke of luck when, having lost two Americans, we managed to sign Troy Selvey from Coventry Crusaders. He was the only player in the 16 seasons of the second version of the club to cost us a fee, but it was more that repaid when he helped Leopards win the 2005/6 National Cup, collecting the MVP award on the way. Prior to the 2011/12 Cup final, Tony Shorey caught up with the big man to discuss the Big Cats.
1. How did you end up playing for the Leopards?
I ended up playing for the Leopards after a transfer from the Coventry Crusaders. I played against the Leopards when Scoop Wicker and Brandon Kephart were on the team but Scoop was leaving. Leopards and Crusaders made a deal that allowed me join the Leopards. The best move in my professional playing career.
- How did you enjoy your time in England at the Leopards?
The time I had playing for the Leopards was great, I really enjoyed the team, the fans and the management. The best I had in the time I played professionally overseas. I have so many fond memories of the time I spent with the Leopards.
- Thinking back to the Cup Final, did the team do anything different in the build up?
Thinking back on our run up to the Cup Final, I can’t remember that we did anything different, but what stands out in my mind is the the team itself which had an “us against the world” mentality. We really did try our best at all times to play for each other and do what was best for the team. Everyone played their role which I now realize as time has passed, is very hard to come by.
- Can you remember much of the game
I remember the game very well. We played Reading Rockets and we were very excited about that. They were the class of our league at the time and we had just had a tough league game with them shortly before the Cup Final. I personally remember being very excited to be there in the game and playing in front of our fans and the crowd that was there. I am reminded of the game often as I have been fortunate to have some photos made into a poster which still hangs in my home today. The Cup Final and the time I spent with the Leopards family is a time I will never forget.
- Where do you keep your National Cup Final MVP Trophy?
My National Cup Final MVP Trophy sits in my awards case that I have in my sports recreation room along with some of the other awards and trophies I have been honoured to receive. I realize how lucky I have been to be able to obtain that award as a individual player, but understand I would not have been able to do that without the help and support of the great team we had.
- Do you keep in touch with any Leopards team mates?
I do keep in touch with Dave Jones on a fairly regular basis. I also talk with Dave Ryan from time to time. But I have to admit I don’t talk to the rest of the team as much as I would like. I do get updates every now and then and I do check the Leopards website to follow the team’s progress from time to time. But I don’t do it as much as I would like.
- Where did you go next after your time at the Leopards?
After I left the Leopards I went on to play for a team in Uruguay for a short time. From there I went on to play the next year and half in Romania for the BC MURES Tigers.
- What are you up to now?
After I was released from BC MURES I came home and began to train kids, as I had done in the summers during my time as a player. This became such a rewarding thing for me that I started a basketball program for kids to play and train during the spring and summer, called CAL Elite Basketball. I also began working with kids in an after school program, where I was a Director for the past 3 years and also ran basketball camps and clinics.
I am now currently in my second year as a high school basketball coach at Rocklin High were I am the Head Coach of the Freshman team and the Head Assistant for the Varsity team.
I also have been blessed to be able to be married to a wonderful woman named Megan and she has blessed me with a beautiful 3 year old daughter named Alanna. Life for me is very good and I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to play for such a class organization as the Leopards in my time as a player, which helps me everyday to try my best to provide for the players I now coach.
My goal is one day to maybe come back and be part of the Leopards coaching staff and rejoin the family that means so much to me.
- Have you got a message for the Leopards going forward?
Good luck, play hard and smart and bring home another Trophy!