- National Teams
Caledonia Gladiators enjoyed a dream European debut when they defeated Portuguese side Benfica in EuroCup Women action last Tuesday.
Returning American guard Laken James hailed the success on a historic night for the club in front of their home fans at the new arena.
Having fun with it https://t.co/TzCLQK7HD9
— Laken James (@lakenjames5) October 19, 2023
“This first EuroCup win feels incredible,” James told Hoopsfix. “We made history in Scotland and I think that’s something truly special.
“There’s no words that can truly describe how special it is to play in our own arena with all of the fans supporting us. The environment is a family feel and I’m thankful to be a part of it.”
James made an instant impact with Caledonia [then Pride] two seasons ago having made the league’s Team of the Year after averaging 18.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists across 16 Championship appearances.
Following another season back in Germany, James returns for a second spell in Scotland as part of a stronger, deeper roster assembled for the club’s maiden European voyage.
“I couldn’t think of a better fit for me,” said James. “I loved my time in Scotland a few years ago and when I learned more about the Gladiators vision I knew it was where I wanted to be.
“I hope to bring whatever it is the team needs this year to win. If that’s defence, rebounding, scoring etc. that’s what my role will be. We have so many talented players on this roster and my goal is to bring energy every single day to help us grow and win games.”
There’s no doubting the club’s ambitions. The men’s side are also competing in Europe for the first time in FIBA Europe Cup action and they both set out to be challenging London Lions for domestic honours.
“Our goal is to win games,” concludes James. “I think we understand the time, money, and energy that goes into making this team a reality and we want to do everything we can to represent that at the top level and continue to help grow the game in Scotland.”
Caledonia opened their WBBL season with a dominant home win over Durham Palatinates and return to European action this week when they host Belgian side Namur on Thursday.