Profile: Basketballer Miles Felletti

Miles Felletti. Photo: Basketball Ireland

Limerick Voice Sports Reporter Miles Felletti-O’Donnell almost gave up on his dreams of playing professional basketball; from studying Law, to VISA issues almost ending his career before it began, this is his story. 

Statistically, I shouldn’t be here.  

Professional basketball teams search for players with US college experience, players that have represented their country at FIBA tournaments or players from countries such as Spain or Serbia where basketball is simply in their DNA. I don’t fit any of these categories. 

I was born in London and raised in Glasgow. I was passed over for the Scottish national team countless times because growing up, there were players better than me. I didn’t attend a US college program; I studied and learned to play in Scotland.  

18 years old and unable to afford an exposure camp, which I believed was my only way to get to the USA, I gave up on my dreams of playing professional basketball. I picked up the books instead and attended Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen to study Law.  

Two years down the line, I realised I wasn’t happy with my career choice, and it was having a huge effect on my mental health. I switched courses to journalism and began re-focusing myself on my new degree and trying to find a career as a professional basketball player after university.  

In 2022, after many rejections, I got my first opportunity.  

On the 30th of July I flew to Iceland to try out for a club named Prottur Vogum. After training with them and several other teams for a week, I was offered a year-long contract with the club which I accepted at once. Alongside me for the journey was one of my best friends from university Scott Angus. Scott had already signed a professional contact in Ireland for the upcoming season and had come to Iceland with me to check it out.  

Some passport shenanigans and a near missed flight later we arrived back in Scotland and went our separate ways, both ready to start our adventures in different countries. 

A month later, disaster struck when I received a call from the club telling me that they had been unable to sort my Visa, my dreams of playing overseas died in an instant. The club assured me that everything would be sorted by the January transfer window, but I wouldn’t be able to play until then. The clock was ticking, I had taken a year out of university for this. In that moment, I decided to do something I had done for the last three years, with limited success, which was to bet on myself.  

I got in contact with every single coach, overseas team and agent I could find. The majority didn’t respond. Plenty of them just said no, some of them were nice enough to have an exchange with me before they said no, but hundreds of emails and messages later I had two English teams interested in signing me.  

Four days later, I had secured a spot on an English team when I received a text from an agent I had been in contact with. He told me that a team in Ireland were also interested in signing me.  

Unsure which path to take, I phoned Scott who had already been in Ireland for a month, “It’s my team, you’re coming to play with me”, he said. That Wednesday, the Head Coach of Limerick Celtics called me and by the Friday, I touched down in Ireland to start my overseas career.  

To my knowledge, there only are three male players who have attended a Scottish university for four years and signed to play professional basketball overseas. They are Scott Angus, TJ Wright and me.  

 People will tell you it is more impossible than it is possible, but those same people who told everyone that you were not good enough will offer you scholarships to their university programs and show their praise on social media the moment you start doing well.  

This is my second year in Ireland, and I have loved every minute of it. Playing overseas is tough especially for UK players post Brexit. Life is not comfortable, jobs are not guaranteed and your whole career can be defined by your next game, but if you take a chance and bet on yourself, somebody, somewhere might say yes.  

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