Schoolboys’ dreams come true as he arrives home to find basketball stars in his bedroom

Nine-year-old basketball superfan made a beeline for his bedroom after school to practice his dunk shots in his mini basketball hoop, but this wasn’t like any other day.

Jake Ritchie had the surprise of his life when he entered his Caledonia Gladiators themed bedroom to find two of his favourite basketball players from the team crouched in his room to welcome him home.

The Falkirk schoolboy gasped when he saw team captain and centre player, Fahro Alihodzic, and the forward player integral to David Sloan’s epic game winning BBL Trophy bucket, Prince Onwas.

Jake said: “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe these guys are in my bedroom, none of my friends are going to believe me when I tell them tomorrow.

“My mum was talking to me about doing my homework on the way back from school, I had no idea this was going to happen.

“I love basketball and I’m a big fan on the Gladiators so to have two of my favourite players in my house, I just can’t believe it.”

Jake’s bedroom is covered with Caledonia Gladiators inspired decor including a full wall adorned with a picture of the team lifting the BBL trophy last year, custom bedsheets, mini basketball hoops and custom signs of his favourite players.

Jake’s dad, Andrew, 43, designed the room and sourced the materials including bespoke posters from his business Signs Express Falkirk to give it a full basketball makeover for Jake’s ninth birthday in December with the help of the Christmas elves.

After spotting the pictures on social media, the Caledonia Gladiators decided to surprise the Primary five superfan with a visit.

Upon walking into the room and spotting the wallpaper featuring the BBL win, Fahro said, “That’s an incredible moment in Gladiators history right there.

“It’s amazing to see photos of our team and players up on the walls.”

Greeting Jake with a fist bump the players remarked: “How was your day at school, man? We love your room.”

Prince added: “It’s so fun to surprise a young fan like this, I wish I had a room like this growing up.”

The two players spent time chatting with Jake, signing his collection of Caledonia Gladiators pictures and shooting hoops in his mini set up.

The Kinnaird Primary School pupil is a season ticket holder and has attended almost every game of the Caledonia Gladiators with his mum and dad, for the past two years.

Jake plays basketball at his local sports centre and has dreams of playing for Falkirk Fury’s national club programme run by Caledonia Gladiator’s player, Johnny Bunyan’s father, John Bunyan.

Jake’s mum, Sharon, 44, picked Jake up from school minutes before the player’s surprise.

Sharon said: “I’ve been so nervous and excited all day as I knew this would mean so much to Jake, I hardly slept the night before.

“This has been the most amazing experience and surprise for him, he is so buzzing. The Caledonia Gladiators have made a young fan very happy.”