Arguably one of Brixton Topcats greatest alumni’s, Ronnie Baker has decided to retire after one of the most successful playing careers anyone has ever achieved within British Basketball.
Standing at 5ft 7″, many told Baker he was simple too small to be a basketball player which only made him work even harder to prove those wrong. It is safe to say he certainly has done that with a long standing career that stems over 30 years of playing at the highest level in the UK.
Basketball started for Ronnie in 1985 at Brixton Topcats with his brother Stedroy and immediately caught the watchful eye of legendary Jimmy Rogers. The Baker Boys were quickly making a name for themselves on the UK circuit where Ronnie was invited to U15 England try outs. Who would know that this would lead to tallying up 156 caps for his country which still stands to date as the highest by any single player.
We got a chance to speak with Ronnie about announcing his retirement, starting at the Topcats and what is next for one of the greatest British players of all time.
“I’ve had an amazing career where it feels right to stop playing. When I look back at my career I knew if I put hard work in I would get somewhere but I didn’t imagine the amount of opportunities that I would have, and what a long lasting career it would be.”
“Brixton Topcats had a massive influence on me. Coach Rogers and the junior coaches had a lot of belief in my ability, they didn’t just look at my size they looked at what I could do so that gave me a lot of confidence.”
Baker has played for a whole hosts of clubs, mainly in the BBL with teams such as London Leopards, London Towers, and Manchester Giants winning many individual and team awards. He is renowned as a British Basketball legend for not only his talent but his personality as being one of the nicest and true people to ever grace the game in the UK.
Ronnie will be working for NBA player and Topcat Alumni Luol Deng running his Basketball Academy in Brixton as the Head Coach. He is hoping to make as much of an impact on these kids through what he has learnt in his career.
“I’m really privileged to be working with Luol and leading on the coaching side of his first ever Basketball Academy. I will be concentrating on trying to help the next generation of athletes achieve their dreams, and pass on the knowledge and confidence that was given to me at that age.”
From everyone at the Topcats, we want to thank Ronnie for being a true ambassador and role model of the game for so many kids. We wish him all the success working with the DENG Academy in Brixton to continue his legacy in UK basketball.
Use the #BakerRetires to pay your tributes to Ronnie on Twitter.