Is Scottish basketball enjoying an Olympic “bounce”?
Entries for the new national league season would certainly suggest so, although many of these were probably already in the pipeline before the full impact of London 2012 was felt.
With the number of teams up by nearly 40% on last season, the leagues are healthier than they have been for some years, with an encouraging number of new youth teams, including notably Dunbar Dragons cadette (under-16) women and Pentland Tigers junior (under-18) men.
The total number of junior men’s teams is up from 13 to 20 and the cadette women from 14 to 20.
“There’s a lot of growth and a lot of positivity,” asserted BasketballScotland competitions manager Graham Shaw, who has brought in a new rule that all senior games must be filmed.
But perhaps the best news is the entry of another Capital team in the senior women’s national league.
Pentland Star, who will play their home games at Broughton High School, have come in for the first time as have Tayside Musketeers from Arbroath, bringing the league strength up to seven from five.
Star, a club with a long pedigree, but for a long time content to enjoy life in the Lothian League, have decided to step up after going through last season unbeaten.
“We’re looking for a greater challenge and after being undefeated last year we want to develop at national league level,” says captain and Irish exile Veronica Walls.
With a Spanish coach, Pablo Sanchez, at the helm, this United Nations outfit – they also have players from Spain, Lithuania, Poland, Australia and England and one Scot – are determined to enjoy the experience.
“Every training session so far has been excellent and coach Pablo has introduced lots of important new things,” adds Walls.
Star travel to Linwood tomorrow to face St Mirren in their league debut.