Kieron Achara, one of the UK’s most celebrated basketball players of the past decade, has announced he will retire at the end of the current season.
The forward, from Stirling, will exit as Great Britain’s second-most capped men’s player of all-time with 105 appearances, in addition to earning over 30 caps for Scotland. He announced his international retirement in November.
Currently in the midst of what will now be his final campaign at Glasgow Rocks, Achara has so far played 572 games and scored 5532 points for clubs in six different countries as well as on international duty.
However, the 35-year-old, who captained GB from 2013-2018 and was a key member of the side at the London 2012 Olympic Games, believes this summer is the ideal time to hang up his boots.
“I feel like I am still performing well for Glasgow but my interest has increasingly veered towards forging my next career off the basketball court,” Achara said.
“Having played at so many different environments, and enjoyed many rich and varied experiences, I’ll now look to put my knowledge together in a different environment, either in sport or in business.
“But I know I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunities given to me, from captaining Scotland and GB, to featuring at an Olympic Games and at EuroBasket finals, earning a scholarship to Duquesne University in the USA, and to being able to come home and finish my career with the Rocks.
“And, of course my biggest wish is that I can sign off on a high by helping them to win the BBL Playoff title in May.”
The father-of-two’s sporting journey – which began at Scottish League side Falkirk Fury – took him from the UK, to the United States, and then to high-level leagues in Spain, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria, in addition to six campaigns with Glasgow in the British Basketball League.
He was a part of Scotland’s run to the semi-finals of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and top-scored when GB recorded their lone win at London 2012, over China.
Achara, who will also leave his development role at BasketballScotland, added: “I’ve been lucky that so many good coaches and clubs have shown faith in my abilities.
“So, I plan to remain actively involved in trying to open doors for young talent in this country and to keep pushing for constant improvements in the development system so that we can achieve the kind of successes I believe are possible.”
He will remain as a member of the board of the Rocks In The Community foundation but will begin the countdown to his farewell when Glasgow Rocks host BBL leaders, London Lions, at the Emirates Arena this Sunday.
And club chair Duncan Smillie admits the totem will leave behind a huge void.
“We’re very grateful for everything Kieron has brought to the Rocks,” Smillie said.
“He’s been one of the most high-profile players in the whole country. He’s put his body on the line over and over again. And now he’s decided to retire, we can appreciate how much he’s done for both the club and for the game in Scotland especially.
“We certainly hope he’ll be associated with us off-court for years to come. And he’s a good role model, a good father and a good athlete, and whatever he does, what he’s achieved will be an asset in what he does next. Hopefully we can give him a good send-off.”
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