Mike Tuck is the new Sheffield Sharks BBL Championship record points scorer. The 38 year old Canadian – British dual national passed the previous landmark of 4252 set by Todd Cauthorn when he made the 3 point shot in the 2nd quarter of the Sharks recent game against Surrey Scorchers.
The word ‘legend’ gets bandied about very easily in terms of sporting figures. But in a sport where single year contracts are generally the norm, the longevity of Tuck’s thirteen seasons and the magnitude of his scoring feat mean that the tag is fully justified.
The Loyola Maryland grad made the journey to Sheffield via pro stints in Cyprus, Luxembourg and eventually Chalons-en-Champagne in France and announced himself on the Sharks scene with a three point shot in front of the bench at the Spectrum Leisure Centre against Guildford Heat. What has been remarkable to see has been how a confident young man of 25 has turned into the elder statesman of British basketball and is now part of Sheffield folklore.
But what of the achievements inbetween? 4 championships being the BBL Cup (twice), the BBL Trophy and most-recently the 2016 BBL Playoff Final only begin to scratch the surface. That 2016 win brought an MVP award for his 20 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists against raging favourites Leicester Riders that were favourites no more once a chest-beating Tuck had worked his magic on the court. Add in the England captaincy at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia and you can see the esteem that Mike is held in from his British basketball peers.
Let’s look at a few career highlights. Scoring in every game of your first 345 appearances isn’t a bad way to start! And potentially, those appearances could go through the 500 mark in this 2021-22 season – another huge landmark.
How did Mike mark his 100th Sharks appearance? A casual 33 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block against Mersey Tigers that’s how! The 33 remains a Sharks career best.
Mersey were also given a masterclass in washing the boards with 19 rebounds back in March 2012.
How’s this for an all-round game? – 7 assists versus Worcester in 2015, 5 steals versus Surrey in 2016, 5 blocks against Glasgow again in 2015. With Tuck you get the whole package!
Mike’s run of games before his journey to the Commonwealth Games formed the club record for consecutive appearances and he also holds club bests for offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, 2 points attempted and 2 points made.
And if Tuck scores big, the Sharks usually get the dub (9-4 when Mike scores 25 or more).
Add in achieving 2500 career rebounds on the same day as breaking the points scoring record and you are talking about a phenomenal player.
But numbers aside, the guy that speaks so eloquently and passionately about wanting to improve British basketball, the eyes of the fellow pro that light up when his name is mentioned show how much he is revered and the smile on the face of the young kid who stops for a selfie with his hero speak absolute volumes about someone who has done so much for British and Sheffield basketball.
Mike Tuck – congratulations on a pair of legendary achievements!