DUFF DEATH STUNS SCOTTISH BASKETBALL

Tributes have been paid to Basketball Scotland’s performance chief Stevie Duff who has died suddenly at the age of 44.

Duff, whose own promising playing career was curtailed by a knee injury sustained while at high school in the United States, became a visible and respected advocate for wheelchair basketball, serving as the assistant coach to the Great Britain national team at the 2008 Paralympics.

Before joining Basketball Scotland last year, he had been lauded for growing the sport in East Lothian, as well as helping to building the Musselburgh-based Peregrines club.

“Stevie’s enthusiasm, drive and commitment to the sport made him the perfect candidate for the Head of Basketball role,” said Andy McSweeney, Basketball Scotland’s Head of Operations.

“During his time with us, Stevie demonstrated his passionate belief that we could work as a team to create better opportunities for everyone involved in the game in Scotland..”

It was in disability sport where Duff may have had the greatest influence, including a key role with leading wheelchair club Lothian Phoenix.

“On and off the court, Stevie was greatly loved and respected by all who knew him,” British Wheelchair Basketball’s chief executive, Charlie Bethel said.

“He made a tremendous impact upon wheelchair basketball: not only had he been the assistant coach of both the GB junior and women’s teams, but he was at the forefront of the sport in Scotland. He will be extremely missed by us all as friend, coach and player.”

He leaves behind a wife and three children.

My own tribute

Scottish, indeed UK basketball, lost a great guy on Tuesday. Stevie was a team-mate of mine at Dundee University 20 years ago and was a terrific player despite the massive knee brace he wore as a result of injury. Our paths crossed a lot of times over the years and he was always wonderful company – and a devout Celtics fan. You only have to read even a handful of the tributes on Facebook to know what a difference he made to so many, as a mentor, coach and as a person. RIP Captain – Mark Woods

Photo: courtesy, Basketball Scotland

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