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Rob Wilson

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No.1 pick in Slam Ball
Rob Wilson former National Team member

Bouncers Rob Wilson Talks Power Play In SlamBall

By James Anderson
September 4, 2002

Rob Wilson of the Bouncers took time to talk about his role as the #1 draft pick in SlamBall, his past basketball career and his new nemesis SlamBall writer Maniac Man.

Rob thanks for giving us some of your time and talking to us about SlamBall and how you got there. Wilson has been a pro athlete for some time, so his story is interesting in what made him decide to go for SlamBall rather than trying to continue in basketball.

What sports have you played in the past? I know that you played basketball overseas, but give us a recap of your career and any other sports you played up until today.

Actually basketball wasn't my first love. In high school I loved football and had a great senior season where my team won the championships and I was the MVP at tight end. I always enjoyed playing basketball but my high school didn't have a great program so it was definitely a secondary thing. I really wanted to go Stateside to play University football but when things didn't work out like I wanted I stayed in Canada. The university I chose did not have a good football team so I turned to basketball with a passion. I still worked out with some football players and decided the power game of basketball was it for me, in a Karl Malone or Charles Barkley mold.

I'll try to give the quick recap. After a great university career I went overseas and have played in Sweden, Israel, Portugal, France, Lebanon, Iceland, New Zealand, Belgium and did extensive travel and touring with the Canadian National Team. So there isn't a lot of places that I haven't been because of basketball.

I understand that you were the #1 pick in the SlamBall draft. Did that put any additional pressure or expectations on yourself being #1?

Well, I think it was a real honor to be taken number one because I have great respect for some of the other players in the league. I realize that does make people expect more from me and I accept that challenge. But at the end of the day it is all about the wins and the losses. No matter how many points Jordan scored there was always somebody who wanted to dog him when his team lost. And I feel it is the same in all sports. Individual accolades feel nice, but your real value and your real success are measured in W's. I feel the pressure to win.

When and how did you decide to give SlamBall a shot and how long did it take you to adjust to playing basketball off of a trampoline?

Well I first had contact with Mason Gordon and Jennifer Constantine (exec producer) in the summer of 2000 when I was preparing for the upcoming season in New Zealand. Let me say right off that I didn't think this sport would have gotten this far, this fast without these two people at the helm. I've never seen two people go it harder than these two. They invited me to come to LA and take a shot at it. It seemed very interesting and after talking it over with my wife we decided to make the move. As far as how long it took me to adjust to playing basketball off a trampoline, when I get fully adjusted I'll let you know! I think that have attained a certain level of development on the tramps, but I think as slamball matures, I along with all the other players will find different ways to do things that will hopefully cause more jaws to drop.

In SlamBall you're the Stopper, which means you take on all the high-flying highlight reel players. How does it make you feel to know if you don't do your job and the audience is grabbing their mouth, stomach or crotch in disbelief at a jaw-dropping slam?

Well as the stopper I know what my job is and how to do it. When guys are coming in at me off the tramps I am not just trying to mug them into the tramps. I want them to go up, give me the best they have and then take it all away from them, RUDELY! There is the odd time when I will miscalculate or somebody serves me with a fantastic move. If the audience is going to go off on that, then it is understandable. The meetings 25 feet in the air is what gets people watching, and I want them to be as mind blowing as possible. This is a new sport and I want the fans to see something new. Sometimes that means I send them home with their head on a platter, and sometimes I carry mine home. Whatever the outcome, come strong or don't come at all.

Being the #1 pick someone had to believe you possessed something special in this game. How would you describe your style of play?

One word, power!! There is a lot of flash in Slamball. I am NOT bringing that. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is great. I know if I wasn't playing Slamball I would be watching and I enjoy all the highlights. But, when I play it is all about power. If I can dunk on you I want to make sure it is the one thing that you remember. If I can knock you down with a clean hit, then I want to make sure you don't even know your name when I help you up.

Which players do you have the most respect for in the league and why? Which type of player gives you the most trouble, the physical or quick type?

I respect everyone of the guys in the league who put their pads on and come out and play. It is a whole new world and they are putting themselves out there for everyone to see. So when everyone is laughing and hating on them this isn't like an established sport, they are learning as they go. There are only 50 Slamball players in the world right now! Guys who I have the most trouble with are the duos that work together well. It is one thing to stop a guy one on one, but when one guy lures you into the tramp on a possible dunk attempt and then tosses the alley, youre dead. Fletcher and Goldman come to mind.

Has SlamBall changed your life in any way? Do people recognize you in Canada as a SlamBall player and being on TV each week now?

At this point Slamball is still new enough that I would have to put my uniform on and walk down the street for anybody to recognize me. And even at that point most would just think I'm outta my mind than ask for an autograph. I think that a lot of people are watching the show and I'm sure in time I will be more recognizable. Hopefully it won't be "Hey, there is that guy who keeps getting dunked on!" J. I have been in touch with some newspapers in Toronto as the public becomes aware of the sport and I think that Slamball will really make a break out in the near future.

What was your first reaction when you saw our writer Maniac Man's week 4 SlamBall review and he referred to you as being punked out like the punk you are during the game? You're not going to come after him are you or just challenge him to a match?

A friend of mine e-mailed me and told me check out AllSports. Actually I thought that it was a great review. After seeing the match I wouldn't have done me up like all that, but the Maniac is definitely a colorful writer. I think that the MM saw me not taking a swing at Anthony White as a sign of weakness. I don't have to fight to get my job done. A. White is a great Slamball player and he is going to get even better and when he took a stab at me that is what he felt worked for him. It's all good though. I don't feel the need to mix it up like that in what is a full contact sport anyways. If I am out to get you, I'm going to try and get in done within the flow and rules of the game. We have a great relationship and he and I will definitely meet again and make some more great Slamball highlights!

Actually, I think that's a compliment that fans believe you're so good that you can control every play on a trampoline. Does this mean that SlamBall will become bigger and legitimate to the public as more people tune in to give it a try?

I believe that Slamball has no choice but to become much more popular. If you play or watch basketball you HAVE to tune in to watch this sport. If you like action and physical play then you HAVE to tune in to watch this sport. If you are home on Saturday night there is a lot of LAME TV so you HAVE to tune in to watch this sport. No matter what you like, it is going to creep in somewhere!

What type of player do you believe would be most successful in SlamBall and what NBA player do you believe could play SlamBall with practice?

I think that a double or multi-sport athlete will be the most successful because of all the elements involved in Slamball. BUT, if you don't like to get hit, forget it. As far as NBA players in Slamball, there definitely some that would be great. But again, once you insert that full contact element that changes everything. We had guys who were phenoms in the tryouts; as soon as the contact came in, see ya later. In any sport there are several types of players that could be successful, but the hard ass mentality is something that gives any player the right starting ground. Even if you can't do a lot with the tramps, you can do some damage on the open floor. I'd like to see a guy like a retired Larry Johnson give it a go, or perhaps a Karl Malone.

Any final thoughts for the many fans here that support your sport?

I appreciate everyone who is watching and enjoying Slamball and for guys like you all here at ALLSPORTS who are taking Slamball to mainstream America via the net. I hope that we continue to entertain and that at some point in the future Slamball can be more accessible for more people to actually try out. Two last thoughts,....CHEER FOR THE BOUNCERS and Maniac Man - keep up the good work, but stop doggin' me out! Peace and keep ballin' (that is Slamballin').

Rob, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to help us bring SlamBall out to the masses and make it a sport that everyone loves as much as the people that come to do to check out all the top stories on the stars of SlamBall.

James Anderson
SlamBall Leader of the pack

Editor's Note:
Maniac Man was a lot kinder to Rob in that playoff game as both stoppers were under attack all game. Wilson did all he could to try and stop the Diablos assault, but the Bouncers came up short in an exciting physical playoff game

33 Rob Wilson Stopper 6'8" 250lbs
Birthplace: Toronto Canada 1 Oct 1968
Marital Status: Married with two children & one on the way
Primary Sport: Basketball
College: University of Toronto
Member of Canadian National Team
Played Pro ball in New Zealand, England and Belgium
Pro athlete influencing him the most: Michael Jordan- "he was the best player to play as I was watching during my youth. Formative years = influence."
Favorite TV Show: CSI Miami
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Food: Jamaican
Favorite Music: R&B

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