I have to say I love the drive to Sheffield on a Friday for a specific reason and that is what is on the radio at that time. I am talking about 5 Live and possibly the best radio programme on the air. It is the 5 Live film review with Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode. Having been a broadcaster for over 30 years I have to admit there isn’t much on the radio that inspires me anymore. I can think of only 2 programmes which are must listen.

They are the Friday Film Review and Saturday’s Fighting Talk presented by Colin Murray.

This Film Review was excellent as usual and the special guest was Aaron Sorkin the writer of the West Wing an absolute favourite of mine and also the new film The Social Network which I am very much looking forward to.

I eventually arrive in Sheffield and suddenly it is game time. There is another excellent crowd at the EISS including another good turnout of Eagles fans. Now, while this game meant nothing in the scheme of the BBL Trophy, it has to be said that neither of these two teams are prepared to lose to each other. Furthermore, The Eagles have started the season with two losses in the Championship and they would not want that to become a habit.

Well whatever we thought this game was going to be, few would have expected the classic that was dealt up by both teams. It was a wonderful game! The Sharks, playing without Marcus Stout and Adrian Anderson were forced to start youngster Joseph Baugh. The Sharks had the better of the opening minutes and the impressive Paul Williams and Ryan Patton were getting the job done.

Player Coach Atiba Lyons would come off the bench and keep the energy going. At the half, the home team led 52-41, but the Eagles weren’t done yet.

In the third quarter they would have a ball turning the score round and threatening to blow the Sharks out of the water. Joe Chapman was awesome while Charles Smith, Darius Defoe and Fab Flournoy would prove why the Eagles are still a force to be reckoned with. The team would score 30 points in the 3rd to take a 64-71 lead into the 4th.

But the Sharks were not about to lose to the Eagles whether there was anything riding on it or not.

Steve Dagostino would now come to play and Atiba, Williams and Patton would continue their good work. In the end the scores were tied with 2+ seconds left on the clock. We were heading for overtime until Smith fouled Dagostino sending him to the line. He made the first, missed the second and the clock ran out.

Victory for the Sharks by just 1 point and another defeat for the Eagles.

Saturday it’s an early start for me as I am working in Wythenshawe at the auditions for Wythenshawe’s Got Talent, and what a fantastic day this turned out to be. Some great acts all vying for a place in the big show on the 6th of November here at the Forum. Special guest today is former XFactor contestant Laura White who is one of our celebrity judges and to put it mildly this is a fantastic day enjoyed by all and by now all of the contestants should know who is going through to the final.

Sunday morning and the alarm on my phone goes off at 4:30. Time for Sunday Breakfast at BBC Radio Manchester.

I am really looking forward to this show because of my special guest WM Paul Young. He has written one of the best books I have read in a while. It is called The Shack and tells the story of a father whose daughter is abducted and killed. He then gets a message purporting to come from God inviting him to a meeting.

It is an amazing piece of fiction and well worth a read.

I knew it was a great interview because it was already in the can but there is a tingle running down my spine as I introduce the interview and hit the play button.

The rest of the show goes well and I head home at 9:30 grab some breakfast and hit the sack. I wake up about 12 noon and potter around the house until it’s time to head out for another basketball game. I am commentating on the Jets v Thunder and another excellent crowd is on hand as we tip off. I hadn’t seen the Thunder as yet this season and when they warned up with just 7 players I was worried about what kind of game we were in for.

As the Jets pulled out to a 6-0 lead I was even more worried.

But a blowout this was not going to be – the Thunder was sensational. Despite trying everything he could and shuffling his pack over and over, Jets Coach Paul Smith could not pull his team away from the Thunder.

Marlin Capers was awesome for the visitors nailing 31 points and threatening to win it on his own. However in the end the Jets would get the win but they know that they had been in a ballgame. The massive crowd would head home relived but exhilarated.

I head home have something to eat and hit the sack.

Somewhere late in the night I am awake and check my e-mails and Facebook messages. There is one from BBL player Kadiri Richards now of the Newcastle Eagles and formerly of the Worthing Thunder.

I told him I would like to use it on mikeshaft.com. This is what he had to say…

Mike you are truly an excellent announcer!! I have been around a lot of game day announcers in my day, but you are one of the best. Just a quick line or two/few words of respect and thanks !!   KD

Sometimes something happens which truly makes it all worthwhile.


Mike S

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