1. Jamar Wilson, welcome to Koripalloelamaa.com’s Q&A. How would you introduce yourself and your history as a ball player?
My name is Jamar Wilson i have been traveling/Living here in Finland for the past 7 years. My wife Laura Sario/Wilson and i met in College where she also played basketball in the same conference as i. She has played with the Finnish National team and junior national teams since she was 14-15 years of age. We have a beautiful daughter who is now becoming more like her mother everyday which is scary lol. I played college ball at the University at Albany where i was fortunate enough to play in March Madness more than once. Was a 2 time league MVP, All American, and All time leading scorer in schools history. Was fortunate to have my jersey retired While playing during my senior year. Played with a great group of guys and had a great coaching staff. I played in Belgium for 3 years on numerous eurocup/eurochallenge teams, and decided to come to Finland for a year to start a life with my then to be wife and absorb her culture. I played for Honka, which played in the VTB league that season. The VTB league is considered to be one of the toughest leagues in the world. I had the opportunity to play against Nba players and European legends, and lead the VTB league as well as the Korisliiga in scoring that season. I then moved down to Australia where i have been for the past 3 seasons playing in a very competitive league. I’ve have had many individual accomplishments over my career, but i would say the most important thing I’ve learned through my career is: One basketball can unite so many people from all facets of life. I never imagined basketball would lead me to where i stand today.
2. You spend your summer hanging out at rap video shoots, and rocking the jaw dropping Ice White Brandblack footwear. What else is going on with you in life and career wise in 2014?
@jaydubbs5 @lmgibson12 @asfalttisoturi @karrionkoira @aksimkmru @taito @6fumame @mpchs @hugobauss #särre @mcsarre #new #musicvideo premiers next week @ylexofficial #cocoa #cocoaproductions #videoshoot #behindthescenes #helsinki #ruoholahti #basketball #streetball #pickupbasketball #finland #koripalloelämää
I was invited to come and make a cameo in a great song LEIKKAASUKKAA, which i couldn’t turn down. I thought it would be a great time to show a bit of flare in my game and promote Brand Black; A up incoming Brand with some great mind and talent behind it. Brand Black will be huge in the sports world soon enough. Next season i will be playing for the Adelaide 36’ers which is a team down in Australia who played in the finals last year and has a great history in the league.
3. How did your collaboration with Brandblack begin, what are your thoughts on the brand and the J. Crossover signature shoe, from your first reactions to how you see the brand and your collaboration in the future?
Jamar spotted rocking these Ice White J.Crossover signature shoes at the video shoot
It started this summer. The past 3 years i solely have been wearing Nike as my agent and I was working with Nike Australia. I have worn Nike since i can remember, i was fortunate enough to always be on a team where we were sponsored by Nike or in one case sponsored by a store and you pick what sneaker suits you. In Australia is very much so ran as a business. You wear what you wear or then, whoever your sponsored by takes care of you in terms of sportswear. It’s a very professional league, but the only way you can really express your self besides your game is your footwear. Its almost like the NBA, as a player in the NBL you are not allowed to wear any other labels with a brand visible on the floor besides your footwear. As a player you have to wear official NBL socks. Crossing the line and wearing a brand that is visible in terms of socks, elbow pads, knee pads, compression gear, etc will get you fined.
I came across Brand Black this summer. I fell in love with the brand and the thought process behind it. I’m from New York City so not only is basketball a culture but what you wear while playing represents you. My agent and I talked about it and got in contact with the lead designers of both apparel and footwear. I loved the product aesthetically it was just a matter of making sure it fit right and performed as promised. Once i was shipped a few pairs it has been a wrap. These sneakers are by far most the most comfortable performance shoe i have ever played in. This summer i have been wearing the raptor lows religiously. My first shipment was pretty big as i had a lot of shoes to choose from but we discussed that i will try a few more different pairs when i get to training camp next month. Brand Black is a company that wants to bring not only performance and comfort to the basketball scene but also wants to bring fashion as well.
Basketball players not only want to wear something that performs well, they also want to wear something that is elegant and when you look at it you know that its something worth taking another look. I have been approached by many people since being here in Finland asking me about what I’m wearing thinking that the apparel is something that i brought in a high class department store. That is the biggest compliment. When i tell them that its a sports brand they’re mouths drop instantly. Brand Black is not only taking the culture of basketball and evolving it by the performance stand point its also bringing in the culture of looking good feeling good playing good. You can rock the shoes and apparel and people would be clueless of whether you are wearing something from a high end Italian store because of the high end feel, or your just wearing sports clothes like your other teammates your hanging out with. Everything is made with thought and to perfection. Brand Black doesn’t make sportswear/sneakers and throw them to the market so they can make revenue on it. Every item that you see from them looks 1 to 1. I can’t wait to bring out some heat (PE’s) that i briefly talked with some of the senior executives about for next season. I am telling you by this time next year Brand Black will be knocking the door down in the game.
4. You can’t hide your handle and your New York style of play, even if you try! I see you’ve been living this lifestyle for a minute now. What’s your relation to, and how do you feel about playground basketball / pick up basketball culture? Are you related to New York playground legend Pookie Wilson?
I see you did your homework haha. Yes Pookie ”MVP” Wilson is my uncle. He held the scoring title for decades at Rucker park. He gave people buckets! Seen a video of him scoring 100 points in a game. I was a bit young at the time but i remember having kids come over to my grandmother’s house when i was younger and they thought i was the coolest kid on the block because my grandmother’s living room was literally stocked wall to wall full of trophies, and we’re not talking about medals, these are all hand size trophies. Were talking about trophies taller than 180 cm and more than 60 of them in 1 room. It was as if you were walking into a store that actually sells trophies. Only thing that sucked was as you know trophies tend to get dusty fast and i was the one who was always dusting them down and it was a tough job.
I was home grown playing street ball where fouls weren’t called so its my natural instinct to play a little aggressive and be a bit creative, because if you weren’t creative or had your own style of play in NYC no one knew who you were. I remember playing in Rucker for the first time at the age of 17 and hannibal (famous mc/court announcer) Called me baby MVP.
Hannibal on the mic at KD’s legendary Rucker park game.
It honestly made me feel uncomfortable because i had huge shoes to fill and there was no way i could do it as my uncle owned the streets with some of the greats back in the 70’s/80’s. I love street ball. It gives you a way to express yourself and take risk as higher risk is much more rewarded. Since college i haven’t got the chance to play many tournaments as i spend a lot of time here in Finland and the tournaments kick up around the end of June early July. But next year i will be back home late next summer as i have a few weddings, so i will be able to play on the New York Street circuit.
5. Who’s the best / toughest pick-up player to play 1-on-1 against in Finland?
Its hard to say because i have noticed street ball isn’t as big here as it is in the states. But in the same point you can learn a lot from great players. I must say for the last 5 years Petteri Koponen has been a tough guard for me as we play a fair amour of pick up with each other in the summers. I have played against many NBA players over the years and you can tell NBA talent and he has it. He has size, strength, quickness and a very high IQ. I also played against Teemu Rannikko this summer when i trained with the Finnish national team for a period of time this summer while they were preparing for the World Championships. And its great to see someone who can pick you apart with simple and effective moves. Don’t know which is more embarrassing being crossed up from a Tim Hardaway move or Having your ankles broke from a deadly jab step haha.
Peace Jamar! This was a blessing!
Thanks for the chat, If anyone gets a chance take your time out and go to Brandblack.com or follow @brandblack on twitter. From a professional athlete who has been playing over 8 years professionally: Everything about the brand is quality. You will enjoy their product and secondly you would look super dope wearing it. Don’t do what everyone else does be different as Brand Black motto is ”A different way to fly”
You can also follow me on twitter @jaydubbs5 to keep up with my journey as the little guy from New York lives his dream and breaks a few ankles along the way lol.