We are delighted to announce that European basketball is coming to Caledonia!
The Basketball Champions League have confirmed the teams competing in their qualification rounds, including Caledonia Gladiators as the only British team in the competition. This marks the first foray of the club into official European competition in its history.
24 teams will join the competition’s qualification round, with all hoping to join the 32 teams already confirmed in the regular season. After 63 applications were made for entry, the Champions League board, following a meeting on June 27, confirmed the names of the teams already through to the Regular Season, as well as the additional members of the Qualification Rounds, fighting for the remaining three tickets.
In the qualification rounds, Caledonia Gladiators will be joined by a handful of newcomers and European basketball veterans from countries across the continent. A familiar name to the British fans of the game with be Denmark’s Bakken Bears, a side that has previously faced six time British Basketball League Champions, Leicester Riders, in the competition.
An initial draw for the Qualification Rounds and the Regular Season phase will take place at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball on Wednesday, July 5. Fans can find out Caledonia Gladiators’ opponents in the competition, with the ceremony streamed live on championsleague.basketball.
The news of Caledonia Gladiators’ move to the #BasketballCL is some of the biggest in Scottish basketball history, and has been a huge part of Steve and Alison Timoney’s plans since joining the club as owners last year. With a new arena on the horizon, Playsport is set to be home to Scotland’s first European basketball since Livingston competed in FIBA’s European Champions Cup in the 1989-90 season. The club will join Bristol Flyers and Newcastle Eagles and London Lions as the UK’s clubs with a place in European competition this upcoming season, with the Eagles and Flyers competing in the European North Basketball League (ENBL), and Lions playing in EuroCup.
The Qualification rounds begin on September 25, ending on October 1, when the final clubs to qualify for the Regular Season will be confirmed.
Further detailing on ticketing, rosters and plans will be confirmed at a later date. The organisation is extremely excited to be making the next step in a set of ambitious plans, with the goals of growing the sport of basketball within Scotland as a whole.
CEO Tony McDaid:
“Caledonia Gladiators’ inclusion in the Basketball Champions League is a milestone moment for our organisation. It reflects our commitment to excellence and commitment to playing at the highest possible level in Europe.
Head Coach Gareth Murray:
“Competing in the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers is a dream come true for our team and fans alike. It’s a chance for our players to compete against the best and take on teams of a European pedigree. I look forward to that challenge.”
General Manager, Sean Skelly:
“Securing our spot in the Basketball Champions League is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team. We’ve fought relentlessly to earn this opportunity, and now we intend to become a regular feature in Europe over the coming years.”
Caledonia Gladiators’ women’s team have applied to compete in the Women’s Eurocup, but are awaiting information on their potential acceptance.
More news to follow in the coming days about this exciting development.