Second-year training begins for Scotland’s ‘Future Starz’
BASKETBALL: Calum Stewart (Fortrose Academy), Alexander Geddes (St Andrew’s, Carntyne) and Carmen Tryan (Graeme High School) were successful products of the first year of Basketballscotland’s Future Starz Programme – and they are determined to make it into year two.
Future Starz is the national player development programme for boys and girls aged between 10 and 14 years in Scotland and the most talented from the schools involved are selected for the Scottish Under-11, Under-12, Under-13 and Under-14 teams.
Calum was in the under-12 team that won an international tournament in Gothenburg in Sweden in the summer, while Alexander was in the under-13 side and Carmen was in the girls’ line-up.
A total of 320 players attended the trials. The programme started in October and talent identification continued during the session with newcomers being added along the pathway to the end-of-year camps and tournaments.
The second-year programme is set to start and the end goal for the youngsters will be to make the cut for the international tournaments, including the under-14 gala event hosted by Scotland in June.
Calum’s aim is to step up from the under-12s to the under-13s. “When I was selected I felt really excited,” said the Highland youngster. “I knew I would improve my basketball skills and give myself a chance to be in the Scotland National Team.
“The highlight of the programme was the Scotland trials, and I learned that hard work really pays off. I’ve improved my jumping and ball handling skills. I will definitely trial for Future Starz this season.”
Carmen is training with the Falkirk Fury Club and admits that being part of the Future Starz meant a lot of hard work.
“The fitness side was tough,” said the 13-year-old. “But I really developed my ball handling skills and I improved my shooting. I am also a lot more confident now.”
At 12, Alexander was one of the youngest in the programme. The youngster began his basketball career as a seven-year-old in his back garden in Baillieston and he was just ten when selected to play for the cadet National League and at 11 he was selected for the first time to be part of the under-13 national development squad.
“The most important part of the training with Future Starz was the balance of different skills. The coaches were always asking more from us.”
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