Bunyan preparing for European Maxi Basketball Championships in Sheffield with GB teammates

The Great Britain Maxi basketball teams will be preparing for the 2022 European Championships in Malaga with sessions in Sheffield later this month.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 10:02 am
Falkirk Fury captain Keith Bunyan

Fury Senior Men's Captain Keith Bunyan and former Fury stars Scott Russell and Stuart McKay will make the trip south in two weeks, the first time they have had serious basketball action for over 15 months.

While the sessions will mainly be non contact, the competition to remain in the squads will be high with the majority of players being former International and professional stars.

Bunyan, who still plays in Scotland's top league at 44 years old, has always been widely regarded as one of the best three point shooters ever produced in the UK and led his Fury Men's team to their 13th National title in the 2019/20 season.

He also won the BBL Championship with Glasgow Rocks during his pro career.

Stuart McKay, while having stopped playing National League, has remained competitive in the last few years in the Strathclyde League, but the former BBL Thames Valley Tiger and Glasgow Rocks pro will be a strong contender for a final place as he remains a gifted and natural inside threat.

Point guard Scott Russell is in the younger age group to Bunyan and McKay, and for the former Fury and Rocks star, competition for a final spot will be tough.

However, the fitness coach has also kept his basketball skills honed in the Strathclyde League after a highly successful time at Fury winning multiple National titles.

All three players played in the 2006 Scotland Commonwealth Games team in Australia and this opportunity to extend their careers on the International stage is a welcome bonus to what has already been three hugely successful basketball careers.

In other news, this week saw the funeral of one of Falkirk Fury and Scotland's most revered and respected coaches - George Connell.

Connell, himself an enthusiastic basketball player, played at University and in basketball's big surge in the 80's, when Bobby Kinzer and Solripe inspired so many to take up basketball in the Central belt.

Three leagues and 30 teams playing local league basketball featured George and his 'Larry Bird' shooting style as key player in a very competitive Stirling side.

He was one of the Fury's first coaches and worked tirelessly in bringing players to the game, developing both their basketball and life skills while working with many of the club's teams over a 20 year period, from a championship winning Men's team in 2001 to younger age group teams, up until a few years ago.

Fury head coach John Bunyan said: “George was an outstanding person, who worked tirelessly for his family and had a huge impact on young people.

"We competed against each other in a fantastic period in the 80's when basketball was on a real high and it was a great boost to Fury when George became involved with the club in a coaching capacity.

"With son Neil playing and coaching at Fury for long periods, the Connell impact on Fury has been immense.”