Eabha’s Pride at turning out for WBBL side Caledonia and Edinburgh University

Eabha Kerr knew her game time might decrease when she stepped up her basketball career into the WBBL – but she didn’t realise it would cease for the first few weeks!

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 11:24 pm
Eabha Kerr. Picture: Michael Gillen

A registration wrangle saw Kerr benched for new clubs Edinburgh University and Caledonia Pride while her paperwork and departure from local side Fury was concluded last month.

“It was a stressful time, I couldn’t play for a couple of weeks,” she explained. “I was still training but I’m glad it has resolved and I can focus on basketball again.”

The 16-year-old caught the eye of the top women’s basketball side in Scotland – the Caledonia Pride – while she was starring for Fury’s senior women and Scotland under-16s.

Eabha Kerr. Picture: Michael Gillen

She’s now been signed up to play in the women’s British Basketball League this season, alongside another successful Fury export – Jenna Beattie.

Beattie was Kerr’s coach just four years ago when she first tried the sport with Falkirk Community Trust.

Now Beattie drives the teenager to training – sometimes picking her up at 4.30am to make the early morning timeslots in Edinburgh, before Kerr hops on a train back to Falkirk in time to make classes at Falkirk High School.

“It’s only one day a week that is early but it’s a horrible start,” Kerr laughed. “It’s a tough schedule of training but it’s nice to have a familiar face with me as I start a new club.

Jenna Beattie is coach turned team-mate. Picture: Scott Loudon

“Jenna just joined in the summer too and it is a little bit weird playing beside my coach now, but I got used to that a bit when I was playing for Fury women as well.

“I also know a few from Scotland duty and recognise a few others, but so far it’s been good.”

The set-up for Kerr with the University and Pride means she can ensure she is getting court-time but also exposure to the demands of the top team in Scottish basketball’s women’s section.

Jonny Bunyan benefitted from a similar arrangement with Fury and the Glasgow Rocks in his early days as a pro, and he’s now gone on to take a lead role in the Rocks. For Kerr, the step up and additional court-time can be just as beneficial.

Eabha Kerr. Picture: Michael Gillen

“Moving was a step I needed to take for my basketball. It’s a higher level and a challenge to advance my skills – but I’m still playing for the school so still playing with a lot of my friends too,” she added.

“They’ve came to support me recently and a few of my old Fury team-mates and my parents have been there too, so I still see them.

“The training is a step up – I have three afternoon sessions of two and three hours, plus the early morning start in Edinburgh once a week.

“We also have games up and down the country. This weekend we are at Cardiff which is a trip I’m looking forward to being involved in, but maybe not so much the drive.

Eabha was a frequent winner of Fury awards - like in 2018 as Star of the Future. Picture Michael Gillen

“My court-time has been steadily increasing with every game so I’m looking forward to getting more where I can and developing my game.

“The players I’m alongside and against are bigger and stronger than what Iwas used to, so it is a test, but I’m enjoying it and glad to be out on the court again.”