Since the start of the 2017/18 season, Chris Cleary’s goal was clear; to make Team Scotland’s basketball squad and book his place on the plane to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonweath Games.
Basketball will be making its return to the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 2006, and Chris, who works as an Active Schools Community Club Development Officer, will be heading to Australia as part of the 12 man squad hoping for success.
On his selection, Chris said, “The Commonwealth Games is the largest sporting event that an athlete can compete for Scotland and I am looking forward to being part of a larger Team all travelling to achieve the same goal. This will be a unique, once in a lifetime experience and I cannot wait for it to begin.”
Chris, whose wife Rebecca has also represented Scotland, took up basketball when he was 16 and has played with Basketball Paisley since 2004. Between 2006 and 2007 he attended Mattawan High School in Michigan, USA.
Having recently been signed by Glasgow Rocks, a professional basketball team who play in the British Basketball League, he has also represented Scotland at Under 18, Under 23 and senior level on a number of occasions.
Chris added, “After competing in the 2014 European Championships for Scotland, my aim was always to compete in another major championship. My training has really increased since August Last year with the single goal of being selected for the Gold Coast 2018 Team.”
Scotland have been drawn in Pool B for the event and will compete against England, Cameroon and India for a place in the knockout stages of the competition.
With the team’s first game taking place on April 5th against England, Chris is currently training on court for 10 hours per week, as well as an additional two hours per week in the Lagoon gym.
Chris said, "It is a great honour to be selected for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Australia this spring. It is the biggest achievement of my basketball career and I am privileged to be able represent my country at such an important event.
“We are going to the games with a team full of experience looking to bring home a medal. We have a high level of expectation within our squad and this can only push us further to perform in Australia.”
You can read more about basketball at the Commonwealth Games here.