Caledonia Gladiators aim to make Scotland 'a basketball nation'

The ambitious club are in the BBL Trophy final but eyeing bigger prizes.

Caledonia Gladiators may be preparing for their first BBL trophy final in nine years but owner Steve Timoney says his ambitions for the club are far bigger than just trophy success this weekend.

The basketball club, formerly known as Glasgow Rocks, has enjoyed a thrilling season so far and will compete for silverware when they face off against Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday at the Emirates Arena in front of a sell-out 6000 crowd.

Success on the court is running parallel to developments behind the scenes, with Timoney and his wife Alison making significant investment to grow the club. The businessman is setting his aims high, with a long-term vision for the club.

A new £20m basketball complex is planned at Playsport in East Kilbride, with a state-of-the-art 6,000-seat arena alongside a five-court training centre.

Tominey told STV he wants Gladiators to become as big as they possibly can, with public support being the bedrock of what he plans to build.

“Our ambition is quite simple: It’s to turn Scotland into a basketball nation,” Tominey said.

“We want to grow the sport in Scotland. I’ve said we can be the greatest basketball team there ever was and ever will be and I firmly believe we can be.

“What we are trying to do is build the best basketball facility in Europe, one of the best basketball-centric facilities in the world.

“If you’re going to create a basketball nation, you’re going to have to put your money where your mouth is.”

While Tominey looks at the long-term, head coach Gareth Murray has his eyes fixed on Sunday’s final and what he says could be a huge day for the team and their supporters.

He said: “We’re definitely looking forward to the final, playing at the Emirates Arena in front of 6,000 people. It’s a big opportunity for the club to win a piece of silverware.

“We’ve had plenty of opportunities over the years but I think this is the best time for us right now.

“The club is moving in the right direction. We want to be big.

“We want to be one of the most successful sides in the UK.”

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