FUTURE Ayr basketball stars have netted thousands to propel them to their dream of playing in the NBA.

Ayr Storm Basketball Club have received a funding boost of £26,550 of National Lottery cash thanks to a national sport initiative from SportsScotland.

The funds, which will be given to the club over the next four years, will go towards elite training through the introduction of a club development officer to help young stars reach the very top of the game.

Greg Fisher, acting chair at Ayr Storm, can’t wait to see what the future holds for the club with the new injection of cash imminent.

He told the Advertiser: “The funding is a result of more than two years work by the volunteer committee and trustees to become a registered charity in order to benefit from the available funding.

“The new funds will allow the club to employ a club development officer, whose role will be to raise the profile of basketball within schools in Ayrshire - with a specific focus on widening participation for girls in the sport - and more widely provide an integrated pathway from schools and junior basketball to elite athlete training and to develop coaches, referees and officials for the future.”

Ayr’s keen basketballers have enjoyed some recent success and Greg hopes the funds can help get more people ‘hooked’ on the sport.

Over the past few years, the club has seen a number of girls reach elite training level, with some getting into American colleges with a scholarship – a gateway to the National Basketball League (NBA).

In their under-14 squad, three have become involved in the Scotland national set up.

Some of the boys have also fared well, and Greg hopes that one day a basketball star from Ayr will achieve their dreams.

He said: “College basketball could potentially lead to the NBA. They are all aiming for the NBA, it’s the pinnacle. There has only ever been one Scot, Robert Armstrong, but there are ways we can achieve it.

“Having a professional coach come on board to over-see things and put things together. It is a great thing which brings us in line with other clubs.”

“We want to get people involved. The idea of the club development officer is to get them hooked on the sport.”