claire paxton passing the ball
claire paxton passing the ball

Essex Rebels’ captain runs out for GB in top tournament

June 25, 2024

The Essex Rebels basketball captain has hailed an “exciting” summer after running out for Great Britain in a series of high-profile games.

Women’s skipper Claire Paxton trained with fellow Rebel and non-travelling reserve Tia Freeman ahead of the European challenge.

Claire helped sink Greece before sadly falling at the FIBA 3X3 Europe Cup Qualifiers in Bucharest, Romania, against a well-supported home side.

Despite the disappointment the 6ft 2in forward, who also works as a Performance Sport Co-ordinator at the University, praised the experience.

She said: “Getting the opportunity to represent GB playing 3×3 is really exciting for me, and for British Basketball.

“The preparation for the tournament was a lot of fun and the players and staff in the group were all great to work with.

“I think we have set a great foundation for Great Britain 3×3 to grow and develop into an established programme on the European circuit.”

The training camps were the first time Rebels Guard Tia Freeman has been called up to the national senior squad.

She said: “It was great to get my first call up to GB seniors, for 3×3 specifically I was really looking forward to it as it’s a totally different type of game.

“The experience of the camps and being around the older players with a lot of experience and the coaching staff was great to get to be a part of and learn from.

“Making the first reserve for the team was a big achievement for me and I’m excited to continue and keep developing as a player.”

3×3 basketball is a fast-paced shorter game where three aside teams compete on a half court with one backboard.

It has its roots in street games and made its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020.

The first team to 21 points wins – if no team has reached that milestone after ten minutes, the team in the lead claims the win.

Claire has represented her native Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in 2023 in the 3×3 tournament – but this is the first time she has received a senior cap for Great Britain.

‘Immensely proud’

Katherine Breen, Head of Performance Sport, praised Claire and Tia.

She said: “We’re immensely proud of Claire for her performance as part of the Great Britain women’s 3×3 team at the FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup Qualifier in Romania.

“Claire’s selection to represent Great Britain is a testament to her leadership, experience and basketball intelligence.

“We also recognize the accomplishment of teammate, Essex Rebel, Tia Freeman, in being in the Top six selected as a non-traveling reserve.

“The Essex Rebels understand the importance of national caps and are thrilled for these athletes to have this experience to bring such pride to the University.

“On behalf of the University of Essex and the Essex Rebels, congratulations to Claire and Tia!”

All Images courtesy of GB Basketball

Essex Rebels Team Huddle
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