There’s been quite the buzz about the name ‘Kiki Herbert-Harrigan’ in European basketball over recent times, as the 24-year-old British star returned to the court this past year with a bang for her first full season after giving birth to her son.
The former London Lions star won Women’s British Basketball League MVP last season and starred for the Copper Box club in EuroCup action as well, before being called up to represent Chema Buceta’s Women’s side for the first time at Women’s EuroBasket in Slovenia.
Born and raised in Anguilla – a small island of around 15,000 people – Kiki’s confirmation as part of the training camp roster ahead of EuroBasket certainly caused a big reaction both in the UK and back at home.
“It has meant a lot to see everybody’s reaction to me being included in the team, especially back home in Anguilla.” The talented forward said.
“Little girls there don’t really have any role models when it comes to basketball, so if I can be that for them and show them they can make it then that’s really special for me.
“As much as it has meant a lot for me to be here, it has meant a lot for people at home as well. Anguilla is a very small island, so to have one of your own playing in one of the world’s biggest tournaments has meant a lot to people back home.
“Whatever happens in this competition, that impact I can have back home will be one of the things I’m most proud of, and of course having a son now it means a lot to me to be able to come out here and hopefully inspire him and show him that we can achieve whatever we want to if we put the work in.”
With Herbert-Harrigan touted as a potential addition to Coach Buceta’s roster for some time now, that has only increased the excitement about her most recent inclusion.
It has been a whirlwind two weeks for the 24-year-old, who joined the team mid-camp and has integrated very quickly into a new-look group, highlighted by her 11 points in 20 minutes against Slovenia on Thursday afternoon, and the forward spoke of her excitement about being part of the team.
“It has been a long time coming but I’m really excited to be here and be a part of this group for EuroBasket. We have a really talented group of players and staff and I’m really happy to be a part of it and get to go and compete with everybody.
“I’ve only been with the team for the last two weeks or so and we’ve had four games and a lot of travelling in that time so it has gone very quick, but I feel like I’ve settled in and got up to speed pretty well.
“We’re all here to win, to focus on ourselves and what we have to do to get better and improve every day, and we’re just trying to lock in on achieving what we believe we’re capable of here in the competition.”
GB are 1-1 after two games in the group stages, with a superb comeback victory against Slovenia followed up by a narrow loss to one of the pre-tournament favourites, France, before taking on Germany in their final group game tomorrow (Sunday) live on GB Basketball TV.
Herbert-Harrigan reflected on the team’s development and progression so far in Slovenia and looked ahead to what is to come for the team in the following days.
“It was great to come out with a win after that first game, especially the way we fought to come back from being down, and we’re just trying to build from game to game on the good things we’re doing on work on the areas we know we can do even better.
“Losing the second game was tough to take, but they’re one of the favourites for the competition so for us to come out of that feeling disappointed not to have won shows how well we did and how good we can be.
“We know it’s an important game against Germany tomorrow but we prepare for every game the same way and we’ll go into that one focussing on being the best version of us that we can be and see what comes from it.”
Great Britain take on Germany in the final group game of Group C at 11:15am BST, Sunday June 18, which you can watch live in the UK on GB Basketball TV.