The City of Birmingham basketball star is looking to emulate his heroes and is putting in the hard yards to get there
At 6ft 5ins Pharrell Wallace-Steele towers above his peers at St George’s School in Edgbaston – and he’s still just 13-years-old! That makes him the ideal build for basketball, which he happens to be rather good at! Pharrell joined City of Birmingham basketball club aged 10 but admits: “I wasn’t very good at first.” We think he’s being modest as he started playing at a high level unusually swiftly. Just a year after joining the club, Pharrell was picked to play in the Under-12 West Midlands squad as centre and has gone on to train with the England Under-14 development team at one of basketball’s regional performance centres.
There isn’t an official squad at Pharrell’s age group, but the performance centre programme is a good indicator of his ability. He’s aiming for the Under-16 England squad and beyond, and all the signs are that this talented youngster will go far. Pharrell’s hero is retired NBA superstar Hakeem Olajuwon who played for the back-to-back championship-winning Houston Rockets. Mind you, Pharrell has a way to grow to match up to his idol – Hakeem hit the tape measure at 7ft! But there’s still plenty of time for the local lad to make up those inches… What’s more, City of Birmingham has a successful history of club players going on to compete internationally in recent years, so he’s in the right place to achieve his ambitions and certainly has the right attitude. He trains hard, fitting it in around schoolwork and St George’s fully supports Pharrell’s efforts. When he’s not training at the club in Neachells he can be found in the gym building up vital strength and stamina or doing his nightly push-ups and sit-ups. And how does he relax? He goes for a jog of course!