Basketball is Booming in the Benbecula
Highland basketball crew members Christie Craig, Laura Brown, Rodger Watt and myself John Kerray went on a 4 day road trip to the wonderfull Islands of Benbecula, North and South Uist.
Day 1: After 9hrs of Trains, buses and boats we arrived at our digs for a good nights sleep.
Day 2: We started at Paible primary school in North Uist, we were met by a enthusiatic group of p5-6 pupils. The school having gone up to s2 until a few years ago had a good hall but 10ft baskets, which did not seem to phase the pupils who had all played basketball before. We took them through a Jump 2 It style coaching session and then split them up into teams for a mini tournament which was very competitive and great fun.
Next up we were in Benbecula at the brand new Balivanich primary, the court was amazing with height adjustable main baskets, a good sized court and the new court markings. Once again the pupils were keen to try everything we did with them from behind the back passes to dribbling through their legs, which led to a very entertaining tournament.
Last primary of the day was in South Uist, Daliburgh primary. Also a old s2 school, this time we managed to find some portables and used them but also gave the teams bonus points for scoring in the big baskets. The boys All star would have played for Scotland in Sweden had we discovered him 6 months ago, and he’s still only in p6.
Off to Lionacliet high school for a coaching clinic covering the fundamental individual and team skills needed to start playing basketball. This was explained and demonstrated in a training session format showing various drills and coaching styles that can be used to coach the basketball. As you can see from the photo we also covered the “Obama” and the “Usain Bolt” styles.
Day 3: We spent the day at Lionacliet high school, doing 4 coaching session with the 2 new s1 classes, standard and higher grade PE classes. We took them through sessions similar to the one from the coaching clinic the night before finishing off with a small tournament each time. Laura also took the standard grade class for some basic table officialing.
Forget the NBA finals, the lunch time challenge between “John Rubio”, “Rodger Durant”, “Laura Lesley” and 2 of the high schools super star girls vs the Lionacliet “Fab Five” was filled with a dazzling array of highlights finishing in a 20-12 win to the traveling team.
It is great to see how popular basketball is in the Islands. Special thanks to Sandra Morrison, Active schools and all the teachers that helped make the trip possible and especially for their enthusiasm in getting the pupils playing basketball.