Scottish Schools Cup
The Scottish Schools Cup finally resumed! As we returned from more than 18 months without any school basketball, we were keen to ensure that players and teams were able to compete once again. We operated in four geographic regions (North, West, Central and East) with six competitions, including three tournaments for boys and girls across three age groups (S1, U15 & Open). We also brought Regional Leads on board to assist with the running of the competitions.
On March 29th, we invited the top four schools in the S1 category to attend the finals at the Regional Performance Centre in Dundee. Here the schools had an exciting day of basketball as they battled it out to take home the trophy. This was then repeated for the U15s on the 30th and Open category on the 31st
- S1 Girls | Millburn Academy
- S1 Boys | St. Pauls
- U15 Girls | Millburn Academy
- U15 Boys | Falkirk High
- Open Girls | Portobello High School
- Open Boys | Wallace High School
Commonwealth Games Qualifiers | FIBA
Up next was the first Commonwealth Games Qualifying Tournament! The tournament was originally supposed to be played during Christmas and New Year in 2021, but a lockdown at the time meant that the event had to be postponed. However, four months later, and a venue change, we were ready to go!
Both the FIBA tournament and the IWBF tournament were hosted by Scotland at the sportscotland National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde, in Largs.
Up first was the FIBA event, where a very strong performance in front of a home crowd saw both our Women and Men’s team come away from the tournament with 3 wins each – meaning they had both qualified to compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games!
Commonwealth Games Qualifiers | IWBF
Following the success that Scotland had at the FIBA Qualifiers, we were hoping for a repeat for the wheelchair event. This would be the first time that wheelchair basketball would feature in a Commonwealth Games, so the excitement was extra high for our players as they were finally able to compete wearing the Scotland jersey!
Our Women made it through to the Games with flying colours after putting on a very strong performance. However, it was our Men’s team who had us on the edge of our seats in a thrilling final game to see who would make it to the Games between Scotland and Ireland. It came right down to the wire as the game went into extra time. Despite an exceptional effort, Scotland fell short and the Commonwealth Game dream unfortunately came to an end.
Our Men put in an extraordinary effort right to the very end, and we couldn’t have been prouder of them.
Home Nations | U18s
Just as our Senior Wheelchair teams were getting ready to go on court in Largs, it was finally time for our U18s to put on that Scotland jersey and take to the court to represent! Our U18 Men and Women travelled down to Wales where they would face the Welsh, Irish and English in some exciting on court action. Scotland also sent down a handful of both table officials and referees, and a commentator for the livestream, to get involved in the action too! It was an exciting opportunity for our players to experience playing for their country, with a couple of close games coming down to the wire!
After two years, the Scottish Basketball Championship (SBC) Cup Finals returned, this time to a new location, the Regional Performance Centre in Dundee. 12 teams from 10 clubs took to the court to compete to be crowned Champions. The excitement of being back at a big event with the community was felt by all who attended.
U16 Women | Winners – Ayr Storm. Runners up – basketballpaisley
U16 Men | Winners – Boroughmuir Blaze. Runners up – Sony Centre Fury
U18 Women | Winners – Glasgow Rocks. Runners up – Ayr Storm
U18 Men | Winners – Glasgow Rens. Runners up – City of Edinburgh
Senior Women | Winners – Lady Rocks. Runners up – Edinburgh University
Senior Men | Winners – Sony Centre Fury. Runners up – Dunfermline Reign
Home Nations | U16s
As we continue looking at our Scotland youth teams, up next was our U16 Men and Women. There was less distance covered in travelling for this group, as they would have the home court advantage, which comes with the exciting home crowd, as they played at the Regional Performance Centre in Dundee. We were joined by Wales, England and Ireland in the 2022 U16 Home Nations. The event was a huge success with everyone involved from all nations enjoying the weekend, both on and off the court. It was also great weekend for our Scotland teams as they managed to get a couple of wins under their belt. We even had a visit from our U14 squads who came along to help cheer Scotland on!
Tri Nations | U14s
As if one weekend full of basketball wasn’t enough, we were right back at it the following weekend as our U14s took to their home court to compete against Wales and England in the 2022 U14 Tri-Nations! Just like their fellow Scotland age groups, our teams fought hard to get the W! One game in particular had every single person in the hall watching intensely as it came down to the final seconds for Scotland to secure the win over England by 1-point. As you can imagine, the place erupted when the final buzzer sounded!
Barcelona Trip | U16 Running & U25 Wheelchair
Over four weeks in the summer of 2022, 117 players from the basketballscotland National Academy, covering multiple age groups from both the running and wheelchair game, travelled to Barcelona, Spain. The trip was funded by Erasmus+ – the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
For the first two weeks, it was our U16 running and U25 Wheelchair players who got to experience an overseas professional basketball environment, which included plenty of learning, games and some exciting cultural activities.
While the trip was very beneficial to all those involved on both a playing and a personal level, it was particularly valuable for one Scotland Wheelchair player, Ben Leitch. Ben caught the eye of guest coach Óscar Trigo Diez (Head Coach of Barcelona’s professional team, UNES FC Barcelona, and Head Coach of the Spanish Men’s National Team who finished in fourth place at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo). Óscar offered Ben a contract to play for UNES FC Barcelona, which we are happy to report that Ben accepted and is currently in Spain playing with.
Read more about Ben’s exciting opportunity here
75th Anniversary Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
On Saturday June 18th, basketballscotland held its 75th Anniversary dinner. This was chance for the community to come together and remember the ‘good old times’, catch up with one another and celebrate Scottish Basketball. On a night of celebration, it only seemed right that basketballscotland would facilitated the first induction ceremony for the new Scottish Basketball Hall of Fame. Meet the first 11 Hall of Famers here
June 18 – July 1
Barcelona Trip | U18 Running & Wheelchair
As our U16s and U25s returned home from Barcelona, it was time for our U18s (running and wheelchair) to head out and get involved. This trip, like the U16s and U25s, was filled with training, games and cultural visits. (Read more about the trip here) However, it also had one key beautiful moment.
When the running teams cultural visit unfortunately got cancelled, they were given two options:
1) Have another training session, or,
2) Go and watch the wheelchair team compete against Barcelona’s professional team, UNES FC Barcelona.
They chose option 2.
The running team were invited down to the court to join in on singing Scotland’s National Anthem, and there wasn’t a dry eye in hall afterwards. Fast forwarding to the game itself. When Scotland scored their first basket, their teammates in the crowd erupted in applause, cheering and chanting. It was a beautiful moment, not only for the players on court (who hadn’t had a lot of experience playing in front of others due to the pandemic), but also for everyone around the court. The running game and the wheelchair coming together. It was clear to see that there weren’t two separate teams… they were one team. One unit. #WeAreScotland.
July 29 – August 2
It was finally time for the long awaited and highly anticipated Commonwealth Games. 5 days of thrilling 3×3 action was exciting for everyone to watch. Especially that buzzer beater from our Men’s team! Unfortunately, Scotland did not come away with any medals, but the Games still had wins for our Scotland teams. For the first time in Games history, Scotland had a Women’s running team competing in the Games. We also had our first ever Women’s Wheelchair team in the Games – the first time that the wheelchair game has been included. Read the full Games report here here. We might not have come away with a medal, but we could not have been prouder of what was achieved by our Scotland players. Thank you to you all.
Wheelchair Women – 4th
Men – 4th
Women – 5th
UK School Games
For our last Scotland event of the year, it was over to our youth wheelchair teams as they headed to the 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball UK School Games Finals, hosted by the Youth Sport Trust and British Wheelchair Basketball at Loughborough University. Scotland sent two young U18 Men teams to compete in the seven-team competition. To add to the excitement, our squads had the opportunity to play on the court used for the Commonwealth Games earlier in the Summer! The Scotland National Academy players involved in the tournament came from across all junior clubs – Dundee Dragons, Grampian Flyers, Lothian Phoenix and Glasgow Rollin Rocks – and done us all proud!
Scotland Blue – 5th
Scotland White – 7th