Sport West Lothian teenager aiming high after signing pro basketball deal with Glasgow Rocks
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Livingston teenager Callum Mortimer is aiming high after extending his time with Scotland’s only professional men’s basketball team.
The 17-year-old has signed on for a second development year with the Glasgow Rocks of the British Basketball League.
Last year he became the club’s youngest ever player, and scorer, and is hoping a second year at the Emirates Arena will help him reach his dream of getting a scholarship in the US and having a lengthy professional career.
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Callum, who represented the West Lothian Wolves and Scotland at various age groups, will work under new player-coach Gareth Murray and told the Courier he’s thrilled to take the next step in his career.
He said: “I’m very excited to be signing for the Rocks again.
“It’s a really good opportunity for me to continue to develop as a player and it’s a huge chance for me to take another move forward in my career.
“It was a really easy decision to make once I was offered a new deal because that’s where I want to be playing and learning my basketball.
“I think Gareth will do a great job because he really has the brain and understanding of the game as a coach and he’s a hugely experienced player who’s seen plenty in his career.
“He taught me a huge amount last season and it was vital experience for me to have that ability to chat to him and have that one-on-one opportunity with him last season.”
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The teenage ace will be working full-time with the club this season and is keen to make the most of the opportunity after limited training and game time last term.
And, with a year of experience under his belt, he believes he’s ready for more minutes on the court – but knows how hard he’ll have to work for it.
He said: “It was all new for me last season and a steep learning curve but this year I’m really hoping to go out there and compete and push for more minutes.
“I’ll be in all the time with the rest of the guys whereas that wasn’t the case last season.
“I know all the gym work will help me get my body into better basketball shape and I’ll be travelling with the team to all the away games. That will be great and I guess it will make me feel more part of the team.”
He continued: “There’s a lot of really experienced guys in the league who have played at a very high level.
“I’m excited for the chance to challenge myself against them and to be able to learn and develop from facing them but I know I’ll need to work hard.”
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Professional basketball player may not be an obvious career path for a lad from Livingston, but he’s determined to make it happen – and paid tribute to the West Lothian Wolves for helping him on his journey.
He said: “My dream is to go to the States and play college ball there and get a degree.
“After that I want to play basketball as my career and would love to be able to play at the Rocks. They’re a great organisation.
“It’s maybe not a career path that’s seen as possible in this country but if you have what it takes, put in the hard work and are willing to learn, then it’s definitely possible and I hope that’s what I can achieve.
“The Wolves are a brilliant club with great coaches. They’ve kept pushing me and challenging me and putting in a lot of work for many years.
“They’ve helped me to this stage and hopefully I can keep improving and moving forward in my career.”
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