Portobello’s Rose Anderson is again the only Scot in the Great Britain women’s team, who this weekend embark on another challenging campaign in Eurobasket, the European Women’s Championship, which begins in France.
Hopes that another Portobello High School product, Becca Allison, plus Falkirk’s Mairi Buchan and Cumbernauld’s Erin McGarrachan, might be included, having previously played for GB under-20 teams, have not materialised, despite the fact that the new GB senior coach, Damian Jennings, was formerly in charge of the under-20 squad while also head coach at Cardiff Archers.
Anderson may indeed owe her place in Trelaze, Brittany, where GB face a tough group comprising Serbia, Latvia and hosts France, to the fact she played for Jennings for part of a season at Cardiff, following completion of her sports scholarship in Oklahoma, and became a clutch player.
Intriguingly, Mairi Buchan, who was unavailable because of ankle surgery, is heading for the University of Wales in Cardiff this autumn to pursue her medical studies after a successful four years as both player and student at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
Allison is back at Old Dominion for one more year after easily her best season and, surprised at not even getting a GB try-out, she also went ahead with remedial surgery which she could have postponed.
Anderson, meanwhile, may have slipped down the bench following the influx of new players to the GB squad, but she showed in the warm-up game v Germany she can still hit the “clutch” three-pointer on the buzzer and that ability might yet be crucial if GB are to progress to the second round with at least one win.
GB open against a tough young Serbian team today, whom they have never played before, face old rivals Latvia tomorrow, and France on Monday, with revenge on their minds following their desperately disappointing last-second overtime defeat to the French in last year’s London Olympics.