Scot Dee Hayward, a former youth player at basketballpaisley, recently surpassed 1000 points in the WBBL as she recorded 18 points for Durham Palatinates in their 79-65 win over Essex Rebels. Following on from the achievement, Dee spoke with basketballscotland about playing youth basketball in Scotland, her WBBL career, GB and the progression of the women’s game.
How do you feel about achieving this milestone?
“It was a big achievement; I am grateful for my teammates, past and present that have helped me get there!”
Do you have any other milestones you wish to achieve in your WBBL career?
“I would like to achieve the 1000 assists milestone but mainly I would like my team to make it to the O2 this year and win the championship.”
What are your fondest basketball memories?
“All the trips I took as a youth player playing for Scotland or GB, I also had a great college experience in America. I made great friends and loved playing for Coach Bullock.”
How did the basketballscotland youth development programmes benefit you as a player?
“Without the Lang’s and basketballpaisley I wouldn’t be playing now so they had a huge impact on my career. The Scotland youth trips were also a great experience to see and play against talent in other countries.”
Do you feel as if the skills you developed in Scotland helped you progress in your university careers in England and the US? If so, why?
“I feel like the determination and that ‘never give up’ attitude helped me progress and I developed that attitude during my time in Scotland.”
Can you recall how you felt when you first got the opportunity to play in the WBBL?
“Having come straight from my time in college, I felt that the competition and expectations were just as high. So, I was excited to be apart of a new team under a new coach in a new area.”
Currently there are a lot of young Scottish talent involved in GB youth setups, how does this compare to when you were apart of GB youth teams?
“It was different because there were no U16 or U18 GB teams, only U20 which was a great programme. There are definitely more opportunities for top Scottish players to play at the highest level now.”
What are your thoughts on the progression of women’s basketball in Scotland?
“It is going in the right direction, and it’s great to see so much talent come through the system. Starting the WBBL set-up has increased the popularity of the sport. It’s great to see so many people come and support the Pride team!”
Do you ever see yourself returning to play in Scotland again during your career?
“Currently I have just moved to a new team, but you never know what will happen in the future!”