Callan Low: Commonwealth selection
The selection for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has come around. This year Scotland are putting forward some of the youngest athletes. At only 17 Callan Low will become Team Scotland's youngest basketball player. I caught up with Callan to discuss his basketball journey and what it is like to be reaching heights from such a young age.
Like most young boys in Scotland, Callan had been in football teams since he was five, but just before he turned 13 he found a love for a new sport, something that has now become his life- Basketball.
Having played the game for just five years Callan has soared through the ranks, I asked him what his favourite memory was so far (other than this new venture of course).
He said: “I have two. My first was captaining Scotland at the U16 European Championships as this was such an honour. The second is making my Scotland senior men debut at the age of 16, as this was a huge achievement for me”
This has only been done once before in Scottish basketball history by national player Kieron Achara in 1999, a player Callan will now get a chance to call his team mate come summer time down under.
For Callan the road to commonwealth selection has not been an easy one. Beginning last year he attended intense training camps with coaches and other hopefuls. Before facing his final camp during the Christmas holidays- no rest for the wicked.
Being only 17 I spoke to Callan about how it feels to be an athlete whilst studying and having a social life.
Admittedly he said: "I don't have the social life of most guys my age as I don’t have much free time and I also need to make sure I get enough sleep and eat well.
"Living on campus with a squad of other basketball players means we’re all in similar situations – even in our spare time you’ll usually find us at a court or watching games."
Studying at Myerscough Basketball Academy in England the young player is lucky enough to have the support of his course when it comes to training.
"They are extremely supportive of my national commitments, so I’m really lucky in that they allow me to balance my studies with playing for the Myerscough teams, and training and playing with the Scotland squads.
"Before I came to Myerscough, I had already completed my Scottish Highers. I am now doing a BTEC in Basketball Studies. This is a brilliant course for me as the classroom work is relative to my sport, and living on campus I can spend a large part of the day training on court or in the gym."
So just how tough is the training Callan works around? Read on
He said: "I train every day and have at least 2 games a week.
Our training schedule involves a minimum of 2 hours on the court each day and then we have strength and conditioning training 3 times a week. On top of this, we have access to the court almost all day every day so I always make sure I practice for at least an extra 2 hours each day and also do extra gym sessions to improve my strength further. It’s a demanding regime..."
Following this years commonwealth games the goal setting does not stop there. Callan has much more on the agenda.
"I am aiming for a scholarship in the USA which will allow me to play college basketball whilst attaining a degree. I want to maintain a place in the Scotland men's team and play more games on the international stage".
At such a young age Callan has the mindset many of us could learn from saying:
"it is all definitely worth it, I wouldn't have achieved what I have so far without putting in the time and work.
"the fact that all my hard work and determination has paid off make it even more amazing"
A reminder that if you want something hard enough GO GET IT.