Credit: Cameron J. King

British basketball is bouncing back

By Claire Thomson

Glasgow Rocks are amongst the 12 teams looking ahead to the rescheduled BBL season start date.

Originally scheduled to tip-off on Friday 2 October, the British Basketball League (BBL) has now confirmed that the 2020/21 season will launch on Friday 30 October 2020. Following government guidelines forbidding fans returning to sporting venues, the BBL has stated that games will be played behind closed doors with streaming packages available for fans to follow all the action.

Scotland’s professional basketball team, the Glasgow Rocks, are one of the teams affected by this update. Playing out of the Emirates Arena in the East End of Glasgow, the team are concerned that they will be at a disadvantage to their English rivals due to having to wait longer to properly train than any of the other teams in the league. 

In an interview with The Daily Record at the beginning of October, player and head coach of the Rocks, Gareth Murray, commented on the fact that the team were not allowed to train properly yet and many of their European imports, such as recent signing Marc Kwedi, had just arrived in the country and were subsequently in self-isolation. He claimed he was frustrated by the government restrictions as the team had to adhere to social distancing on the court and only have the opportunity to shoot using their own basketballs, with an official pre-season and training commencement date only announced on October 13. Following on from that, Murray also highlighted worries surrounding the financial situation of the Glasgow Rocks and their reliance on ticket sales, merchandise, and sponsors, all of which are currently very limited. 

Finally being allowed to train properly again, Rocks chairman, Duncan Smillie, emphasised that all protocols such as physical distancing off the court and frequent hand sanitisation will be followed, but for the time being, full-contact training is allowed on the court.

The Glasgow Rocks will begin their BBL campaign at home on November 1, with the hope of success despite being weeks behind their competition.  

The changes in restrictions also allow Scotland’s leading women’s team, the Caledonia Pride, the chance to get back into action in the Women’s British Basketball League next month, with the league expected to have a staggered start.


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