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Along the freestyle timeline, A2W is arguably the second major influence in spinning tricks after Tommy Baker. That says quite a bit about the caliber of his tricks and his reputation in the freestyle world. That being said, it comes as no surprise that he was victorious in the Freestyle Central Spinning Contest with an innovative new spin trick. Check out what A2W has to say about his experiences with freestyle and how he came up with his contest-winning move.
Congrats for winning the spinning contest A2W, and thanks for taking the time to do this interview. First of all can you tell us a bit about where you’re from?
Thanks Snake, I’m from London in England where freestyle is growing and the home of some great freestylers.
How did you get the name A2W?
My real name is Andrew Wilding so I got the name A2W from my initials at first but then people would say that I’m ”Amazing 2 Watch” so thats what A2W stands for.
How long ago did you start freestyling, and what inspired you to start?
I’ve been Freestyling the same amount of time I’ve been playing ball for which is now 6 years, I got started by picking up a ball and just playing with a few friends, then I started to get better then the film “Space Jam” came out and I loved it!! Right at the begining of the film there was a short clip of the Harlem Globetrotters doing a few tricks and skills whilst they played and I was hooked from there on. I would search the net for more videos of tricks and streetball and came across the nike ad which changed everything!
How did you come up with the idea for your contest-winning spin trick?
I actually had another version of that move which I did not land on time but the move is the same as one of my over moves I’ve done in the past just using 1hand which made the move 100 times harder to do.
What have you been up to lately in terms of shows, tours, games and events?
I’ve been trying to keep as busy as I can with shows tours & games ect… Just recently I went to the premiere showing of a called “Freestyle” which is a U.K based basketball movie featuring Big Fen, Bombfire, Myself and other freestylers from the U.K, the film hits the cinema’s nationwide 26th feb.
What are some of your long term and short term goals for freestyling?
Some of my goals are to increase the level of my performance in my show and become as entertaining as possible & perform my show all over the world. I would like to be involved in more t.v, films, music videos, tours and more shows. keep a long story short, I wana do it all!
What have you been working on with your freestyles lately? Any new moves or styles?
I’ve been working alot on head stuff and roles and being able to sell my old moves and make less mistakes in shows. I really want to include more dancing and breaking moves in my style and have been working on that too.
What kind of things do you do for practice and how often do you practice?
I practice almost everyday and when I do practice I go hard and I’ll sweat buckets & gasp air. I’ll try to cover everything whilst practicing and most of the time I’ll get stuck on something that I’m determined to improve on!
What freestylers have you been watching and liking lately?
Basketball man is always good to watch, it’s the massive smile that does it lol. I also like to watch Bavo because I’ve been watching him since he started and use to ask me for tips and he’s one of the few that I think we become great. Big up! I also find myself glued watching some of the japanese guys like lil G, Shiro ect… I also love watching U.K freestylers such as Bombfire, Big Fen & Tommy Baker and others such as 4Eyed, Vo one, yourself Snake, Surprise & Mieszko as an up n comer! Big up to all you guys.
You’ve been one of the most influential freestyle spinners in the game, what’s it like to watch others expand on a style that you really helped to develop?
It’s a great feeling when someone does a spinning move that really shocks me & make me want to try and do it but now there are so many spinning moves out thier its impossible to keep up and be able to do them all and knowing that I was quite a big part of that feels amazing as I’ve made a mark in the freestyle game which I want to see more of!
How did you come up with the handstand ball-spin move?
Growing up I played ball in the park and lots of my friends would breakdance in the same park so I guess the idea came from mixing to 2 sports to create a really sick move. Now I kind of use the handstand move as my trademark move and have been doing it since I was 15 & have came up with lots of different ways and styles of doing the move. still to this day that is my favorite move of mine!
If you could do a freestyle battle against anyone, past or present, who would it be?
I think I would have to choose Tommy Baker as he’s someone I’ve learnt alot from and think it would be interesting! who do you think would be a good match up for me?
Tell us something most people wouldn’t know about you.
My very first ball was a purple Spalding Space Jam ball with bugs bunny on it & I still have it! lol
What’s your advice to new freestylers?
Watch and learn and make it yourown, no body wants to see the same thing twice, so if you create rather than imitate and you’ll go a long way! also I find being able to sell your moves are important I would perfer to watch someone perform 5 solid moves instead of someone doing 50 scrappy ones!!
Is there anything else you want to say?
Thank you for your time and I hope you all keep watching because I’m going to be around for a long time!
As we’re in the festive season to I would like to wish you all a very merry chrisrtmas and a happy new year!
Andrew “A2W” Wilding
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