Basketball

Rocks’ Keeling: Lockdown ‘sucks’ but I have to deal with it

By Kevin Craigens

LOCKDOWN has been hard on everyone but Glasgow Rocks’ newcomer Christian Keeling has rebounded quick and adjusted the best he can.

The Glasgow Rocks Guard joined in December and has taken no time to make his mark on the British Basketball League. Since his debut Keeling has played on six occasions averaging 1.2 three-pointers and 2.3 assists per game.

But it isn’t the whole story for the boy from Atlanta, Georgia, he is also a young man in his maiden year as a pro. 

Keeling said: “It is very difficult. For me personally it is my first year, my rookie year, being a professional. I’ve got to deal with the Covid situation and then deal with me being a professional so I’ve got to learn how to be. It is a lot on the plate for a rookie but I can’t change that.”

People would be forgiven, at the best of times, for missing their family while living in a strange country for an extended period of time. And being an outgoing person, Keeling appreciates being with his teammates all the more. 

The 22-year-old admitted: “I miss my family, being in lockdown you can’t really meet anybody new, I basically just play basketball and go home. The only people I really see are my teammates. I’m a big personality type of guy, a very friendly, people person. I like to meet new people so I guess that’s been the biggest thing.

“Glasgow Rocks a great organisation top to bottom including the players. The players and the coaches welcomed me with open arms. Glasgow is a good city although we’re on lockdown but I really enjoy this and I’m really glad to be a part of it.”

The young American had to isolate on arrival before joining up with his new teammates and has said that it has been a strange experience in a nice place. 

“Obviously with the pandemic I can’t go out and see the town and see how it really is, but for the most part I can see, at different moments, that when I’m trying to get something to eat I can see different scenery. It is so different from back home,” he added. “We’re in lockdown, so I can’t really say how much I’ve been enjoying it but it’s a nice city and I like it.”

Glasgow Rocks Player-Coach, Gareth Murray was full of praise for the former North Carolina player. He said: “Christian is a guy who can score in multiple ways and he creates for others. He’s the go to guy when we need to make a quick score.” 

Murray added: “It’s frustrating for the players, as they come in physically ready to play but have to sit in the house for ten to 14 days. At the same time it’s good that he is healthy and Covid-free.”

Despite the challenges Coronavirus and the measures the Government have put in place, Keeling is proud and happy with his career in basketball.

The Blue Collar Kid reiterated: “It feels good, the opportunity to play professional basketball is a blessing, many people cannot say that. I came in late and I’m just thankful for the opportunity that the whole organisation gave to me.”

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