Erin on the road to Rio

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OLYMPIC fever has well and truly died down but not for a Cumbernauld basketball player who has set her sights on competing in Rio De Janerio in 2016.

Erin McGarrachan is living the American dream studying stateside and playing basketball, but her ultimate goal is to represent Team GB at the next Olympics.

The 20-year-old, from Blackwood, started playing basketball at St Maurice’s High School where she was a pupil.

She explained: “I started playing basketball at the age of 13, when I began high school.

“Lisa Palombo was my PE teacher and I had basketball for PE, she suggested that I should sign up for the after school club so I did.

“I had signed up for lots of sports but basketball quickly became my favourite. Lisa introduced me to Jim Lay who took a North Lanarkshire development team and I started training with Jim.

“Jim then started a national league team, then called the St Maurice’s Gladiators, which was based in my high school. That’s when I really became involved with basketball.”

Erin’s love of the game quickly helped her become a talented power forward, and at 5’11” she proved to be a force to be reckoned with especially with the help of Jim, who sadly passed away in December.

She said: “My coach Jim would teach me a new skill or move and I would go away and practice until I had it perfect so I could come back and show him.”

With hard-work and determination, Erin secured a place in the Houston Baptist University where she is studying to be an accountant and playing basketball.

She said: “Life over here is pretty hectic with our basketball schedule and school but I like being kept busy it stops me from getting homesick! It’s also a great environment for letting me focus solely on my education and basketball.”

Erin, who recently captained Team GB at the European championships, admits watching the London Olympics made her want to compete in Rio even more.

For full story, see this week’s Cumbernauld News or Kilsyth Chronicle dated Wednesday, September 26.

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