Meghan Plummer from the Young people's sport panel interviews Team GB Basketball star Kieron Achara.
How does it feel to be an Olympian?
To be honest with you, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s been a great experience. I was very proud to be representing Britain as well as Scotland. The games, the opening ceremony, things I will never forget. I was really proud, really happy it was in London. I got a lot of home support, it was a very enjoyable experience and one I will never forget.
What was it like playing against players like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James?
To me it was just so surreal. I remember getting into the arena and getting ready to play and I saw the guys and they were warming up. It kind of sunk in that they just play the game just like you do. So after the whole kind of star struck thing, I realised they were just professionals playing the game just like you do. So it helped me relax a little bit and again it was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.
What was your highlight from the games?
For me it would have to be the game against China. To get to play good minutes, to be top scorer for the game and get the first win ever for Team GB as it had never happened before in the Olympics. That was very, very important for us and I am hoping it continues to help the game grow in the UK.
What was the Olympic Village like?
The Olympic Village was crazy! I was at University in America and it was like a big University campus just full of phenomenal athletes. Seeing the Royal Family, meeting Mo Farah, seeing Kate Middleton walking past, sitting with Michael Phelps in the dining hall, it was just so crazy. But the thing for me, the most important thing was the food place. To eat there 24 hours a day, and it had food from all over the world. I actually gained about 8lbs at the Olympics. All that food!
Where did your inspiration come from to reach the level that you are playing at now?
I was a very late starter to the game. I was 15, 16 and coming through the ranks here at Clark Erickson Fury. But I think I was always competitive. Whatever I did I gave 100%, I kept driving on, my main goal was to get an education. I obviously got a scholarship to America and from there I actually decided to go professional. Before I had never thought I would be professional. I learnt to love the game, I grew up with the game, I just wanted to be the best I could be and thankfully it was enough to make me a professional and now I’m an Olympian.
My mum and her friends played basketball with your mum when they were younger, so how much of an inspiration was she to choose basketball?
To be honest with you it was the exact opposite. Because my mum had played the game, I didn’t want to play it. I thought it was a women’s sport. But she encouraged me to be sporty, and to be active and she would take me to practise. When I couldn’t get from Stirling to Falkirk she would always be there, waiting for me in the cafe during my practise. Without her I would never have made it, so I owe her the world.
Were you aware of all the support from Scotland when you were playing in your games in the Olympics?
You could actually hear it! You looked out and could see the blue of the Scottish Flag. With being on Twitter and seeing all the comments to me there, I couldn’t actually have had a better crowd.
Did you see any gold medals being won while you were down there from other events?
I got to see the 200m finals the other day, so I got to watch Usain Bolt, Blake and the other Jamaican make 1, 2 and 3. It was so funny too, getting through the metal detectors to get to the village. The gold medallists taking their medals off and putting them in the box to go in and I was putting my little pin badge in there! It kind of made me want to get ready for Rio. That’s my goal just now, to make the 2016 games.
What advice would you give to any young aspiring athletes in Scotland today?
The most important thing is to make sure you are working harder than anybody else and that’s not just on the court because like I said, if it wasn’t for my education, I would never have had the opportunity to go to the states. So just whatever you are doing give 100%. Make sure you work on your time management. People always make the excuse they don’t have enough time. You always have enough time. So learn to manage your time and another thing, just enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it you will never be able to strive for it. It’s something you have to love. Don’t force it, if you don’t love it do something else you love. So just give your best.
Thanks for your time