Let’s get to know Jon Cather-Macklin (or as Thai fans have now dubbed him, “Big John”) a bit more after his debut game!
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“Man to Man” is a new content for Tones & Definition where we will go out and interview some interesting characters in Thailand and South East Asia basketball. If you have any suggestions, feel free to do so here or at our Facebook page!
This past Saturday’s matchup between PEA and Nakhon Pathom Madgoat kicked off the second leg of the Basketball Thailand Super League. The Madgoats were leaders in the table going undefeated through their first 4 games. PEA wasn’t doing so well, having won only one game over the cellar dwellers Thew Phaingarm while losing the rest. This left the “Thundermen” at 4th place in the table. Running for the title is now out of question for PEA, but what’s still left on the table is a spot in the top 3 to move to the International Round. In order for that to happen they had to shake things up to steal that third chair.
Say Hello to Jon Cathey-Macklin (who I shall now refer to as JCM because I am a lazy fat person).
Little was known about JCM prior to the game as the front office tried to keep the news quiet and after the game, JCM received quite a buzz after getting a statline of “16 points, 19 rebounds, 3 block, 3 assists, and 1-1 from the 3” as quoted from JCM’s facebook (no official stats sheet has been published by the BTSL as this article went in production).
Google tells me that JCM played college ball at Tarleton State in the Lone Star Conference of the NCAA Division II. He also won a Defensive Player of the Year award while being an important piece for the Texans run to being Conference Champions.
But I wanted to know more about JCM and so, a Facebook Chat conversation started:
T&D: So how’s Thailand been treating you so far?
JCM: It’s been pretty good so far. I haven’t seen the city really. [Editor’s Note: Jon had arrived in Thailand on the 18th March, and he had to run some practice before the game on the 20th. So yeah, he probably didn’t have enough time to do much yet.]
T&D: You’ll get plenty of more time for that, I’m sure. It’s a really beautiful city. We all saw you have a pretty good game, but from your perspective, how was your first taste of Thailand Basketball?
JCM: It’s pretty good. Your local guys can really play. I love to play against good teams. It makes me stay on the top of my game.
T&D: Nice to hear that! Is this your first professional team?
JCM: No. I played in Bolivia [Editor’s Note: La Salle Torija] before I came here. I won the league. At the end of the season, the people were saying I was one of the best players [in the league].
T&D: Wow, I didn’t see that while Googling up your name. [Editor’s Note: That’s because you are a fat lazy self-proclaimed journalist. If you just took the time to look through JCM’s facebook, you would have known that.] That means you are used to adapting to different cultures already. How long were you playing in Bolivia?
JCM: Three months. It was a short league.
T&D: Ah, same here in Thailand. [It’s] not that long of a league. So throughout you time in Bolivia, Tarleton State, JUCO and high school…who do you think is the best player you’ve played with/against?
JCM: Well, I played against a lot of good players but the hardest [would] be Jamil Wilson. He played for Marquette and later, he got picked up by the [Phoenix] Suns. [Editor’s note: Jamil Wilson signed with the Phoenix Suns 26/9/14 but was waived 16/10/14.]
T&D: Why, was he a tough match-up for you?
JCM: Yeah, but that was in high school. At the [time] I had only played basketball for a year. Now I’m ready.
T&D: Hope someday you get another shot at him!
JCM: Yeah, I’ll get my shot the next time I go home.
T&D: Which local player has impressed you the most in the BTSL?
JCM: I don’t know his name off the top of my head, but [I liked] #14 [of PEA]. I love his toughness and his IQ. It’s hard playing against a 7-footer [Mike Fey] and he made it look like nothing.
T&D: Sure he’ll be glad to hear that. I need to look it up myself who #14 is. [Editor’s Note: Again, if you were better at this sports journalist thing, you should have probably known that off the top of your head. By the way, #14 of PEA is Thongchai Thipprapai]
T&D: Who’s your NBA Team? And for the sake of March Madness, who’s your NCAA team?
JCM: I’m a LeBron fan so wherever he’s going. LOL
JCM: [As for the NCAA] Kentucky all the way!
T&D: Haha. I’m a [Maryland] Terps fan so I really hate my situation right now [Editor’s Note: The Terps are potentially going to play the Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite Eight. Kentucky is undefeated]. UK is just outlandishly good.
JCM: Yes, and the way they bought into what the Coach want them to do is great.
T&D: Yeah, Coach Cal is one hell of a Coach. And all the players are mature enough to buying into it.
Speaking of coaches, I played for the PEA coach in my college playing days in Thailand. What do you think of him?
JCM: He is a great coach. I love the offense we run.
T&D: I figured you’d love him with you being the LSC Defensive player of the year and all. Coach Moo is a really good defensive coach.
So just one more question before I let you enjoy your Sunday: Do you have anything to say to the Thai fans? Or anything to warn to the other Thai teams you’ll be facing?
JCM: Well, for the other teams, you don’t have say anything. I’m sure they know [what’s] coming. For the fans, tune in and watch the show! LOL
So that’s it for our interview with the new import in the Thailand Basketball Scene, Jon Cathey-Macklin.
What do you guys think?
And if anyone has a better nickname than “Big John” or “JCM” please do share, because I feel like those two names do not do any justice for his game at all.
Be sure to tune in next week when PEA and JCM plays Thew Phaingarm on Sunday the 29th March at 2PM onwards.