Usually, a DEGREE unlocks several more doors.
For Hannah Robb, this summer’s completion of her degree in sports science at the University of Edinburgh led to new prospects, not in her chosen field, but in professional basketball.
The completion of her studies seemed like a good time for the 22-year-old, after spending four seasons with Scottish side Caledonia Pride, to spread her wings and take the next step.
Before playing her first international match for Great Britain at last month’s EuroBasket qualifier against Poland in Istanbul, she moved to Leicester Riders – a serial candidate for WBBL honors – in August.
The Arbroath-born guard doesn’t want to say that one case contributed to the other, but instead sees it as a reward for the Scottish scheme, which has turned her into an accomplished international player from a novice playing for the Tayside Musketeers.
She’s the only Scot on the senior British squad at the moment, but she hopes that it won’t be long before others play alongside her.
“It was nice to have Scottish representation in the GB squad again and it was an honor for me to do it,”It was nice to have Scottish representation again in the GB squad and it was an honor for me to do it.
Hopefully, at some point, I would be joined by a few others. I would agree that Scottish basketball is certainly on the rise.
All of my growth was inside the Scottish system before I came to the Riders. There is a big support in getting Caledonia Pride and a hint that we are going in the right direction.
“I would love to have more Scottish girls on the GB team soon. Hopefully I’ve shown it can be done and that gives hope to others who have the same aspiration.”
If it was a shock in itself to be called up for the game against Poland, Robb admits that having time on the pitch was even more shocking.
I was shocked when I heard my name called from the bench because, since it was my first international, I had no expectations for the game,”I was surprised when I heard my name called from the bench because I had no expectations for the game since it was my first international,”
“There was no pressure on me to do something special. It was amazing to hit the free throws and score my first points. It made the whole thing even more special – if that’s even possible! And I didn’t expect to get any minutes at all because it was such a big game.
In early February, the Great Britain team will face Belarus in Latvia, where a victory should guarantee a place in the European Championship finals, which this summer will take place in France and Spain. Unsurprisingly, Robb wants to remain active.
I really hope to be there,” she says. “In my week with the GB squad, I learned so much, working with numerous coaches and seasoned players. So I would love to go back and learn more about the GB culture being part of it.
“With a win in the game against Belarus, we have a good chance of qualifying for the finals. And if we can do that, I’d love to be there if I could. But the focus will just be on the one game in Latvia and it will go from there.”
Robb has settled well into Loughborough’s new life, helping Leicester reach the final of the cup and win their first league match. While establishing herself with a consistently good team was a gamble, she felt that it was a risk worth taking.
It’s the next step up, and around me I have a lot of seasoned players. It’s fun to be part of and learn from such a talented squad. In the league, the Riders have a fantastic record and are one of the most competitive clubs.
In basketball, I decided to take the next step, to compete with more seasoned players, but also to contribute. I see it as a challenge, but not one that in any way frightens me.
In the offseason, I had great talks about coming here with the coach. That gave me the confidence that I should make this move. He spoke about how he sees me on the squad, and that certainly gave me a boost. That’s what you want to hear before signing with a new club.
No talk of a gradual change or something like that has been made. At the deep end, I just jumped straight in. That is the best way of learning.