VIDEO: Dual Citizenship Lands Brevard’s Joshua Mims On Under-15 English National Team
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Assistant Editor // August 8, 2017
Mel-High Freshman played in three countries
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Joshua Mims, a former Edgewood Jr./Sr. High student who will be attending Mel-High this year, tells Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski about his exciting summer playing for England’s under-15 national basketball team. Mims’ dual American-British citizenship provided the opportunity to earn a spot on the team, and then play games in England, France and Denmark. He is the son of Florida Tech basktball coach Billy Mims.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – When watching the Olympics, it’s not uncommon to see Americans participating for other countries. That’s because they have dual citizenship thanks to being born in that country or having parents from another country.
Melbourne High School freshman Joshua Mims is among those that have dual citizenship and this summer exercised his right to play for his birth country, the Under-15 English National Team.
If you recognize Josh’s last name it’s because his dad is the head basketball coach for the Florida Tech Panthers, Billy Mims.
Coach Mims, the all-time winningest coach in Florida Tech men’s basketball history, spent 10 years in the British professional ranks, serving as head coach and director of player personnel for two different clubs – the London Leopards and the Leicester Riders.
While Mims guided both of his English clubs to National Cup Championships, his greatest accomplishment across the pond came at a Planet Hollywood in 1995 where Mims met Josh’s mom, Lynne.
The two were married and Josh, the Mims’ third child, was born in 2002 in Leicester, England.
Coach Mims and Josh have a very special relationship. Rarely is Josh not on the sidelines at the Clemente Center during a game or practice, and rarely is coach not in the stands watching his son play.
Each year, right after Memorial Day, the Mims visit Lynne’s family in England. But, this year would be a different trip after coaches in England got hold of some game film of Josh, and picked up the phone to arrange a tryout for him for the Under-15 English National Team.
The trip began when Josh flew into London’s Gatwick Airport on a Thursday morning, and by dinner time that night, he was on the court practicing with his new team, the Folkestone Saints basketball club.
On Friday afternoon, he was on a train headed through the “Chunnel” to Calais, France where that night, he played his first game. Over the next three days, Josh led that Saints club to a 6-0 record and the Wimereux International Tournament Championship.
Josh was named the Most Valuable Player for the event.
ABOVE VIDEO: Josh Mims wins the MVP award of the Wimereux International Tournament Championship and learns to speak a little French as he accepts his award.
This was the start of something special as Josh then traveled to Sheffield, England where he tried out for the England under-15 team.
Still trying to compensate for jet lag, Josh endured a grueling two-day, four practice tryout with many other skilled players.
The hard work paid off. On Sunday night Josh received the call from Coach Manuel Pena Garces that he would be one of the 12-players selected to represent England in the U-15 Copenhagen Invitational in Denmark the following weekend.
The five-game tournament began with England defeating Malbus of Sweden, as Josh came off the bench to contribute eight points, two assists, two rebounds and one steal in his England international debut.
His performance earned him the start in the second contest of the tournament.
England defeated Iceland in game two of the tournament despite five of its team members, including Josh, falling ill in the middle of the contest with food poisoning. Josh came back from the locker room and tried to play but was too sick to continue.
Game three saw England continue their winning ways, and with the victory, advanced to the tournaments semifinals. Josh, still feeling the effects of food poisoning from less than 24-hours earlier, came off the bench to chip in with three assists, three rebounds and one steal.
England fell to a very good Estonia team in the semifinals as Josh bounced back from his food poisoning episode and played almost the entire game but he saved his best game of the tournament for last.
England would go on to beat Sweden 80-57 to capture the Bronze Medal. Josh finished the game as the leading scorer with 21-points.
Josh is looking to return to England to compete once again next summer but that is after he takes the floor this season for one of the best basketball programs in Brevard County, the Melbourne Bulldogs.
Two teams, two tournaments, a bronze medal for his national team and a tournament MVP for his club team— not a bad way for a 14-year-old Brevard County boy, “The Leicester Lad,” to spend a summer across the pond.
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