Get to know EUBC: Interviews with current and past members

Steph – The current president of EUBC, and member of the Women’s 2nd team

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How is the club doing? 

We now have 3 men’s and 3 women’s teams and have been growing each year. Last year our Senior Women National League won the Scottish Cup and our Mens Firsts were top of their league in 1A. Last year the club also earned over 200 BUCS points for the university- the 5th highest club in the Uni. Our women’s programme is part of the elite Performance – a programme for developing and competing in the highest BUCS level in the UK. We even have links into the Scottish Professional team Caledonia Pride who many of our members play for. We are looking into further developing our men’s programme to reach BUCS prem in the next few years. Currently, our Men’s 1st team have been the top of their league in Scottish 1A and last year were a game away from promotion

What changes are we looking to make in the future? 

This year we are looking to reach out to our alumni and get them more involved each year. In the next few years, we are hoping to grow in members and expand to 4 or 5 teams for both men and women, once we have more facilities available. Another goal from the past few years is to get our Men’s 1st team promoted into BUCS Premier- the top Uni League.

What is your favourite part of the EUBC? 

Basketball has been such a large part of my university experience. It’s such a challenging and rewarding thing to do and the friends I made out of it made every 6am training and 6-hour bus trip worth it.

 

Bart – Head of Performance Basketball, Head Coach of Women’s 1st and Caledonia Pride

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Explain your role in the basketball program in the University of Edinburgh. 

At the UofE my position is the head of performance basketball. This means I am trying to ensure as many Bucs points as we can for the university now and in the future. With the help of many others, I do all I can to provide our students (and nowadays potential future students) with the most professional basketball experience we can give them. We aim to be the most professional program in the UK in basketball. I use the experience I have gained over the last 30 years in mostly the Netherlands and all the bright and enthusiastic people we have here to achieve our goal.

Describe the achievements and changes in women’s basketball program in the University of Edinburgh over the last years. 

It is always hard to describe what is different when you don’t exactly know how it used to be but I make it my mission to improve our program every season. When I started a little over 4 years ago we lost our first games by over 60 points in Bucs Prem but the year after we made it all the way to the final with a good combination of last year students and some great American post-grad students. Now in our 5th year, we are one of the top teams in Bucs with a very young team. There is now also a co-operation with Caledonia Pride (Scottish only professional women’s team – editor note) which allows for our students to play in the WBBL and show their talents on the highest level in the UK. The girls train more than ever and we want them to take charge of their own development and pathway which isn’t always easy.  To help them we have also included off-court sessions to work on the skills needed to do this and handle the pressure they sometimes experience. We have upgraded the strength & conditioning support and this year it is the best it has been so far. Having a sports psychologist available for the players all the time has also been very beneficial. We are doing many good things and we are not done improving.

What are the future goals for the program?

In the future, we want to be the best team in university basketball and every year be a major candidate for the silverware. We want to do this whilst giving young Scottish players a chance to play on these teams. In order to grow the program to new heights, I believe we need to work together with Basketball Scotland and together grow the program so that there is an academy for high school students and our best students get a chance to play in a European competition through Caledonia Pride. I would also like to see our program help develop more Scottish coaches in order to raise the level of the sport in the country.

What is your favourite part about coaching at the University of Edinburgh? 

There are many things I like about coaching here at the UofE. Working with students is a lot of fun and help them transit into performance athletes is a challenge that is also very rewarding when they start to succeed. We can offer so many opportunities for our players to train and when they grab those chances and work hard it is amazing to see them succeed. At the same time, our university has been great in helping us grow the program and the trust and support I get from them is amazing.

Dale – Former player and coach of Men’s 2nd team, former secretary and alumni officer of EUBC

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Describe the achievements and changes in men’s basketball program in the University of Edinburgh over the last years. 

The biggest achievement has probably been the M2s go from 2nd bottom of the third division to promotion, winning the conference cup, then winning the 2nd division in 3 consecutive years, and then staying up in the first division. Another great achievement of the club is the creation of both men and women’s 3rd teams. There is always a lot of players at trials and it is good to have been able to increase involvement and expand the club. Both 3rd teams have been performing well too!

What are the future goals for the program? 

Future goals would be to get the M1s into Bucs prem north, however, it is hard competing against universities with scholarship players. It would also be great to have 4th teams if space and timetabling allowed for it.

What is your favourite part about the Edinburgh University Basketball Club? 

My favourite part is the social side of it, meeting new people and having fun on nights out (which I am notorious for).

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