Scotland’s Ben Leitch Signs Pro Contract in Spain
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”
AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT SCOTLAND’S BEN LEITCH HAS DONE.
basketballscotland is delighted that Scotland Wheelchair player, Ben Leitch, has signed to play for UNES FC Barcelona, the professional team in Barcelona, Spain.
Ben has been a part of basketballscotland’s Wheelchair National Academy for six years where, within his first year, he was selected to represent Scotland U15s at British Wheelchair Basketball’s National Junior Championships. He also played for Great Britain’s U23s at the 2018 European Championships in Italy, finishing 4th. At just 16 years old, Ben was the youngest member in the squad.
In June of this year, Ben was a part of basketballscotland’s U25s Wheelchair team who travelled to Barcelona. The trip was funded by Erasmus+. While out there, Ben and his teammates got the opportunity to learn from multiple basketball professionals. From coaches and referees, 3×3 specialists and even professional players, our teams were treated to learning from the best.
Ben went into every practice session and game determined to maximise the opportunity in front of him – to develop his game while learning from the best.
It was not long until Ben caught the eye of Scotland’s guest coach, UNES FC Barcelona’s Head Coach, Óscar Trigo Diez – who recently led the Spanish Men’s National Team to fourth place at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo. Impressed by what he saw, Ben was offered a contract to move to Spain and join the team. An opportunity that he has grabbed.
Ben is no stranger to playing in high pressure situations. Earlier this year he was a key part of Scotland’s Men’s Wheelchair team as the faced a heart-breaking defeat at the Commonwealth Games qualifiers in Largs, Scotland, in overtime.
Speaking on his new chapter, Ben commented: “It is an amazing opportunity to work with a highly regarded wheelchair basketball coach within an organisation that have goals and aspirations to succeed. It has always been a dream of mines to play abroad and when I was giving the opportunity, I just couldn’t turn it down!”
basketballscotland’s Inclusion Manager, Tina Gordon, commented: “Ben has worked incredibly hard dedicating much time to developing his basketball skills and I’m thrilled to see him taking up this exciting opportunity to play at UNES FC Barcelona. Head Coach Oscar Trigo Diez is a world class coach, Ben will certainly be challenged and learn so much from this experience as he realises his dream of becoming a professional basketballer”
Everyone at basketballscotland would like to wish Ben the best of luck in Spain. We look forward to watching you succeed and supporting you in your new journey.