17-year-old Ruari Doherty has left his Stirling home team for a life changing basketball scholarship in England.
After finishing third in the league, and entering the playoffs as “underdogs” in his last ever Stirling Knights game, Ruari led his team mates to victory and left his for a Myerscough Academy scholarship.
After feeling unsure about making the life changing decision to leave Knights at such a young age, Ruari saw the facilities at Myerscough and decided it was “right move” for him. Myerscough welcomed Ruari, describing him as a “standout performer” in his time playing for Knights.
At the age of eight, Ruari’s mums colleague invited him to a training session which he attended weekly for a number of months at Alva Academy, sparking his interest in basketball. Shortly after, Ruari began his lasting commitment to Stirling Knights basketball team.
He joined the Knights junior team and together they made the final team for Scotland, which he describes as the moment basketball “became a major part of life.”
Ruari became a National Champion for Under 12s and Stirling Knights made it to the Scottish finals. At this point he left football behind and focused fully on basketball, hoping to make a career from his favourite sport.
Stirling Knights began in 2011 and have won 19 National Titles since. They have produced over 30 Scotland Players. The teams train and play locally, often in The Peak- Stirling’s major Sports Centre, along with other facilities such as Wallace High School.
Throughout his journey from Under 12s to the men’s senior team, Ruari committed to Knights and made his way to Myerscough. He played for Under 12s, Under 14s, Under 15s, Under 16s and Under 18s.
Ruari also played with the Senior men at the young age of 15, taking on the challenge of their talent three years early. He played against strong teams including local rivals, Falkirk, in the finals. Ruari believes this made him “a better, more physical player.”
The local success has been described as a “top Great Britain prospect” and the “terrific Doherty” playing in local and international tours, including Barcelona and Sweden.
It was tough leaving home, but the opportunity of improving his skills with the competition will be key to Ruari’s success. The determined local says he wants to “improve [his] game… with tougher competition.”
Ruari’s coach Cory said he watched Ruari “not as a coach, but as a fan” and is “gutted to be losing [him]” but wishes him the best in Myerscough.
After college, Ruari hopes to “take it to the next level” and play in Europe and the States to make Stirling Knights proud.
Speaking about his daily training in Myerscough, Ruari acknowledges Stirling Knights as “a major part of my development as they formed me into the player I am today, helping me make it to Myerscough.”
Ruari’s older brother Calum Doherty, 19, who joined Knights with Ruari and has played alongside him says “it was great to play with him from such a young age and for him to take it further. Trying to make a career out of it is amazing.”