Glory hunt is back where it all be­gan

Aussie Games link as Gareth aims high

Rutherglen Reformer - - Motoring Guide - Mur­ray Spooner

It’s gone full cir­cle for Ruther­glen’s Gareth Mur­ray as bas­ket­ball returns to the Com­mon­wealth Games sched­ule for the first time since 2006.

The 33-year-old was part of the Scot­land team which man­aged just one win in Mel­bourne in his first big se­nior com­pe­ti­tion.

And now he’s back in Aus­tralia on its beau­ti­ful Gold Coast with the hope his ex­pe­ri­ence will stand him and his team in good stead this time around.

Speak­ing from Team Scot­land’s head­quar­ters in Oz, Mur­ray said: “I was only 21 at the time of my first Scot­land se­nior men’s tour­na­ment in Mel­bourne.

“It was my first year as a pro­fes­sional as well as my first ma­jor tour­na­ment and first time play­ing for se­nior men’s Scot­land. So com­ing back here the next time bas­ket­ball is in­volved in the Com­mon­wealth Games is a great feel­ing.

“It’s good to be around other ath­letes in this vil­lage here but ev­ery­body is look­ing for their main goal.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to it and there should be good at­mos­phere. Bas­ket­ball is one of the main sports in Aus­tralia as well so hope­fully there will be a good crowd, but it’s about win­ning games for us.”

Mu r r a y is among eight in­di­vid­u­als to rep­re­sent their coun­try- as well as Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang - Down Un­der.

He joins Bethan Good­win, Joanne Pet­titt, Emily Ni­choll, coach Karen McElveen, Ni­cola McLeery (net­ball), Vicky Glover (box­ing) and Cam­bus­lang Har­ri­ers’ triath­lete Grant Shel­don.

Af­ter tak­ing to the sport dur­ing high school in Ar­broath, Mur­ray gained in­ter­na­tional caps at un­der-16 and un­der-18 level be­fore trav­el­ling to Amer­ica.

Since his re­turn, Mur­ray has gone on to play in France, Ply­mouth and Cheshire be­fore re­join­ing the Glas­gow Rocks.

He now leads his na­tion into bat­tle from April 14, in pool B and will com­pete against India, Cameroon and Eng­land, who placed third in the 2006 Games, for a place in the semi fi­nals.

The Scots have also re­cently changed coach to Aus­tralian Rob Bev­eridge and Mur­ray be­lieves the move can only help their cause.

He said: “Rob is a smart guy and is well known through­out the world, es­pe­cially in Aus­tralia. He’s help­ing us a lot and teach­ing a lot of new things to the guys.

“I don’t think there could have been any­body bet­ter for the job.”

Team Scot­land Cam­bus­lang Har­ri­ers’ triath­lete Grant Shel­don will also fea­ture in the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games

Big hit­ter Ruther­glen boxer Vicky Glover is aim­ing to make an im­pact on the Gold Coast

Net gains Gareth Mur­ray in train­ing ahead of the Com­mon­wealth Games

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