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Strategic partnership formed to boost Scottish basketball

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Several stakeholders – including sportscotland and basketballscotland – have partnered up in an attempt to give the sport a shot in the arm ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Government funding body sportscotland has ploughed an additional £280,000 (US$366,772, €329,070) into basketballscotland’s performance programme over the next two years to improve “on-court performance”.

The partnership, which also includes British Basketball League (BBL) franchise Glasgow Rocks and Women’s BBL (WBBL) team Caledonia Pride, is also targeting larger attendances for matches and increased grassroots engagement.

Extra money will go towards the hiring of two full-time national team coaches to work within both franchise teams, “linking professional basketball to the national teams for the first time”.

As a result sportscotland hopes that the majority of national team players remain in Scotland to play league basketball, allowing players to spend more time together training, and subsequently perform well in international competition ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in two year’s time.

Sportscotland has already ploughed £2m (US$2.6m, €2.4m) into the sport over the 2013-2017 cycle.

Barry Lang, basketballscotland head of basketball, said the move would give the Scottish basketball team a “competitive advantage” as it aims to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.

“Our top Scottish prospects will have the chance to train and play together on a daily basis, improve their technical skills and physical capabilities in a professional environment,” he added.

The Commonwealth Games will be one of the few events that Scotland will be eligible to perform in as a sole country following the British Basketball Federation’s (BBF) move to bring all home nations under the Team GB banner from October.

Glasgow Rocks owner Ian Reid said there was now an opportunity to build interest in the sport and grow the participation base in Scotland. He said that his club had helped introduce more than 100,000 young people to the sport over the decade.

“As a consequence, Scotland now has a significantly higher player base and it makes sense to ensure that there is a pathway for talented individuals to progress to the highest level,” he added. “This agreement enables that vision and all of us at the Glasgow Rocks will be working towards achieving this.”

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Several stakeholders – including sportscotland and basketballscotland – have partnered up in an attempt to give the sport a shot in the arm ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
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Glasgow Rocks will play a major role in the Scottish player pathway, alongside Caledonia Pride / Andy Sidders / Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images
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