£1000 raised in school appeal for new basketball team strips

Left to Right: Caledonia Gladiators Ariadna Pujol, Fahro Alihodzic, with Aymen Kraria, Hillhead High School, Patrick Whelan, Laken James and Kian Omer-Jone

HILLHEAD High School’s rising basketball star, Aymen Kraria, went up against Scotland’s basketball franchise Caledonia Gladiators, as they competed at a Skypark fundraiser raising £1000 for the school’s appeal for new basketball team strips.

The pro-basketball team, based at the Playsport arena in East Kilbride joined forces with Skypark to spearhead the fundraiser in support of the local school in the west end of Glasgow.  

Aymen Kraria, who also plays for Great Britain Under 18s, launched the fundraiser alongside players from the Caledonia Gladiators on 13March. The event featured ‘shoot the hoop’ challenges for the aspiring young athletes, while Skypark tenants joined the challenges to help raise funds.

Rising star Aymen recently participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Europe Camp 2023 after he was spotted playing for the Great Britain U17 men’s team.

Commenting on the school teams’ success, Aymen said: “Hillhead High School has helped me throughout my whole career. The time that teachers and coaches have dedicated to supporting my development has been so important to reaching the level I have so far. As a school we have been very successful at a local and national level and won the U18 Glasgow League, U18 Glasgow Cup and Open Boys Scottish Cup last year. My goals are to continue to work hard and develop my skills to help me become a professional basketball player. 

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity given to me by Skypark to compete against (and beat!) the Caledonia Gladiators and the funds raised will be really useful in helping younger players to work towards reaching their goals.”

Jack Richardson of Hillhead High School said: “Our fundraiser is great for our young players as it captures the spirit of basketball and bonds the team together.  We’re a very multicultural and diverse school and we also work exceptionally hard to keep the cost of the school day as low as possible so the £1000 raised will make a huge difference. Basketball develops lifelong skills in our young players. Thanks  to the Gladiators and Skypark tenants for getting behind our school”.

As well as competing in the British Basketball League and Women’s British Basketball League, the Gladiators also run community youth sessions across Glasgow and beyond, nurturing the next generation of talent.  

Lisa Palombo, Head of BBL (Women) and Community at Caledonia Gladiators said:”We are delighted to be part of the Skypark and Gladiators Charity Challenge. Hillhead High School are great friends of the club and do fantastic work around school basketball. We hope this helps support their fundraising pursuit”.

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