FRASER IS UK’S MAINE MAN

Ali Fraser in action for Clark Erikson Fury in 2009.
Ali Fraser in action for Clark Erikson Fury in 2009.
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STATESIDE Falkirk Bairn Ali Fraser has won the 2012 Great Britain Basketball ‘Emerging Athlete’ award.

The Scotland and GB International was nominated following some great performances for the GB under-20 team last year, including being top scorer for GB at the European Championships with a 19.7 point per game average ranking him the tournament’s third highest scorer.

Fraser was also the tournament’s top ranking player in field goals made and two-point field goals attempted and made. His dominance of the key meant GB were able to have a huge inside threat that the opponents found difficult to handle. He is currently playing in the NCAA in the USA and going from strength to strength with his college, Maine.

Fraser commented on receiving the award: “I am very grateful to everyone who I have worked with at British Basketball and am very proud to receive this honour. It was unexpected to win the award with such great competition from other players and I am over the moon to receive this news.

"I am very honoured to be able to play for Great Britain, simply being able to represent my country is amazing and this award is really an added bonus. I am happy that I have been able to contribute to the GB national team and hope to be able to continue to contribute in the future.”

Natalie Stafford won the Great Britain senior award and

British Basketball Performance Director, Chris Spice commented on both Stafford and Fraser’s awards: “Natalie and Ali both epitomise everything that Great Britain basketball stands for, particularly in such a historic year for the sport. They both are great competitors and leave nothing on the court every time they play. I want to congratulate them both on having outstanding seasons for their respective GB teams and of course for these awards which are richly deserved.

“I hope our funding issues can be resolved so that these world-class athletes can continue to play international basketball on the world stage against the world’s best for many years to come.”

Ali is in his third season with US College team Maine Blackbears in the American East NCAA Division 1 conference and has just come off the back of a key 71-68 point win over Vermont where he just missed a triple double with 20 points, 10 boards and eight assists.

Fraser started his basketball career as a 10-year-old in Fury’s development program in Falkirk and earned seven Scottish Club titles and one European Club title with the Clark Eriksson side.

Fraser won a Euro C title as a Scotland cadet and has been a key Scotland International in all age groups.

Fury headcoach John Bunyan who coached Fraser throughout his eight years at the Falkirk club said: “Ali is a credit to Scottish basketball, he has a tremendous work ethic on and off court and I am just one of a number of people, particularly here in Falkirk who are proud to have been part of his development.

“The award he has received shows what fantastic potential he has and we look forward to celebrating the magnificent award with him when he returns in the summer.”