Commonwealth Games Scotland has today announced the women’s and men’s 3×3 basketball and women’s wheelchair 3×3 basketball squads who will take to the specially created court in Smithfield in Birmingham this summer.
3×3 basketball will feature in the Commonwealth Games for the first time, after taking the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by storm last year. In a historic move, 3×3 wheelchair basketball will be the first wheelchair basketball discipline to have featured in the Commonwealth Games.
With only half a court and just one hoop for both teams to attack, gaining possession and using it well is the key to the game. The more familiar 5×5 version of the game has been contested twice at the Games – both at Melbourne 2006 and Gold Coast 2018, where Scotland’s men finished an impressive fourth.
GB international Gareth Murray, featured in both those previous tournaments and is set to play in his third Games alongside his Gold Coast and Glasgow Rocks team mates Fraser Malcolm and Jonathan Bunyan – both from Falkirk – and Nottingham Hood guard Kyle Jimenez, who is from Edinburgh.
The women’s side features Commonwealth Games debutants of GB guard Hannah Robb, Caledonia Pride’s Sian Phillips, Edinburgh forward Claire Paxton and London-based Kennedy Leonard.
Both Scotland’s men and women secured qualification for the Games earlier this year during a home nations qualifying tournament at the sportscotland National Training Centre in Inverclyde. The Scots went unbeaten with both teams securing victories over Northern Ireland in the finals; the men’s side running out a comfortable 21-5 win, while the women’s quartet
Talking about selection for his third Games and his role as player-coach this summer, Gareth Murray said “I am really proud to once again pull on a Scotland vest at the Commonwealth Games. Melbourne and Gold Coast in particular, were fantastic experiences and I am really honoured to be leading our team at what is effectively, a home Games.
“It is great that we get to play 3×3 – it is so quick and so much fun to play. I have no doubt that the atmosphere in Birmingham will be electric.”
Scotland has called up a strong wheelchair 3×3 team who will take on Australia and South Africa in Group B. The squad, who were also dominant in Inverclyde earlier this year, features GB stars Robyn Love and Jude Hamer, alongside Jessica Whyte and Lynsey Speirs.
Love, a world and European medallist, helped Paralympics GB to a historic fourth place last year in Tokyo and is relishing the opportunity to get onto the court in Birmingham and make history “It is an incredible feeling to be selected for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and to debut our amazing sport.
“3×3 wheelchair basketball is fast-paced, thrilling and exciting. It is even more special that we are playing wheelchair basketball at the Commonwealth Games for the first time , and can showcase how brilliant para-sport is. We have a fantastic team in place and we are so excited to be playing for Scotland. We will give it our all to bring home a medal this summer.”
Team Scotland Chef de Mission Elinor Middlemiss said “I am absolutely delighted for all the players selected to compete for Scotland this summer in Birmingham. It is really special for us to be able to field strong teams in the 3×3 basketball’s Commonwealth Games debut.
“Set against the backdrop of the stunning Smithfield arena in Birmingham, the 3×3 basketball really will be a fantastic competition and I have no doubt there will be lots of travelling support for our players.”