Andi Mill – Working Hard for a Vision
Andi Mill – Working Hard for a Vision
Andi Mill may have won the 2014 Snake Freestyle Basketball Contest, but he still hasn’t achieved his biggest goal in freestyle. Check out this interview we had with him that touches on everything from his relentless work ethic, to his first inspirations, current motivations, and more.
So for starters tell everyone a little about yourself, where are you from? How long have you been freestyling?
I am from England and I live in the county of Essex for pretty much all of my life. I have been freestyling for about 5-6 years now.
How did you first discover freestyling?
I used to play basketball and my best friend Adam learned how to spin a ball on his finger and I couldn’t do it so I tried over and over again until I got then I discovered the chest roll which my friend had also learned before me. So we had been doing these moves for a good two months before I decided to look online at some streetball videos. That when I saw all these crazy handles that I just had to learn which led me to seeing my first proper freestyle video which I am sure you all have seen? A2W video of him in this small local court. So I was learning all this stuff with dribbling and spinning tricks. And finally saw a Japanese freestyle basketball battle video which was the first I saw of it. It had Kamikaze, Ryogo and some other freestyles in. I liked Kamikazes style straight away and new that’s the initial style I wanted to go for and it pretty much led from there.
Why did you decide to start freestyling?
From being put in the mix group at school for PE when I first started made me feel like I was just bad at general sports, So I wanted to prove them wrong by doing nothing but fitness and came across basketball and I guess I just wanted to be different because all my friends were also getting into basketball too. So I started to doing loads of street ball tricks. Which then of course lead to freestyle basketball itself, which no one else I knew was doing so I felt at that time I had to be the first one doing it along with my friend Adam who was always one step ahead of me when I started.
How much do you practice?
I train my Freestyling for about 3 hours a day and if I get any extra time I will do extra practice. Back when I first saw Kamikaze I was practising for hours and hours throughout the day it felt like none stop.
Who have been your biggest influences as a freestyler?
For me it was my friend Adam when I started and then A2W and Kamikaze. As time passed I learned that people come and go. The people you tried to impress in the past would lose interest and become inpatient with you. This was hurtful and overall hard generally because the people you thought you could rely didn’t really have the same vision as you. This may not seem like a big influence but to me it was; I had people time after time telling me you are not going to make anything of this. Focus on something more realistic again from the people closest to you this was hard. This kept happening for nearly most of my years doing freestyle basketball. Then I started becoming more confident and I was becoming better at using negatives and turning them into positives and making myself train harder as an outcome. I started not believing everything everyone said and this just made me so much more creative and generally as a whole more determined. You could say anger drives me by wanting to prove people wrong. Now more recently my influences are breakdancing, capoeira, Acrobatics Street dancing and just everything I see in day to day life I can make something out of. Also the people I train with now are very strong influences like my friend Isaac who has helped me with creating my style massively.
How do you come up with moves and ideas for freestyle?
A lot of time I see things and I imagine what I could do with it while incorporating a ball and that has worked pretty well so far.
Tell us a little bit about your winning videos. What all went into making them?
Vast amounts of energy are all I can say. Bribing my friend Isaac to stay and film me for so many hours! Both of them were outside on extremely hot days which did not help in the slightest. I am constantly changing and tweaking moves so I had to wait until last minute before I uploaded because my moves were changing a lot in that time period.
How did you come up with the moves?
I think generally I am quite a creative person and I think this generally runs in the family all my family do something out of the ordinary. I love doing things no one else has done because I then believe more that not much in life is impossible.
Why do you continue to freestyle?
Because I have an idea in my head that has been there ever since I started I have only shared it with a few people but one day I will hope to achieve it.
What do you feel you get out of it?
Happiness, Fitness, Confidence a sense of pure freedom that nothing else in life has given me so far.
Do you have any major goals in freestyling?
I want to make a new style which I am not there yet and hopefully inspire people.
What’s your favorite freestyle moment so far?
It was one of the first, learning how to spin a ball on my finger.
Who are some of your favorite freestylers right now?
Hard to say I do not really watch many freestylers as much now I look more at other forms of movement. I find I can learn a lot more by changing the environment I am in. for example I train with just dancers and no freestylers at all.
Who are some of your favorite freestylers of all time?
Kamikaze would be my first major interest into the art.
Do you have any favorite freestyle videos?
Probably the Tokyo style unleashed video I watched that way too many times.
Do you have any advice for other freestylers?
Yes, if you think a move feels stupid NEVER discard it you never know what you could make of it and just generally try to make something new that you have never seen before.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you all to those who continue you to support me and help me along the way I will get there in the end so try not to lose patients with me as many times as I have failed I shall succeed!
I can’t wait to see this vision of Andi’s accomplished. Any time someone talks about creating a whole new style it really makes me excited to see that freestyler realize that vision, and excited for freestyle basketball as a whole. With Andi’s determination and dedication, I’m sure we’ll be seeing this new style soon. We’re all waiting Andi 🙂