GRADUATING tends to open a lot more doors.

For Hannah Robb, the completion of her sports science degree at Edinburgh University in the summer led to new opportunities, not in her chosen subject but in professional basketball.

Having spent four seasons with the Caledonia Pride squad in Scotland, the completion of her studies felt like a good time for the 22 year-old to spread her wings and take the next step.

In August she made the switch to Leicester Riders - a serial contender for WBBL honours - before earning her first senior GB cap in the EuroBasket qualifier against Poland in Istanbul last month. 

The Arbroath-born guard is reluctant to suggest that one event led to the other, preferring to instead view it as a badge of honour for a Scottish system that moulded her from a novice playing with the Tayside Musketeers to an experienced international player.

She is currently the only Scot in the British senior set-up but hopes it won’t be too long before there are others lining up alongside her.

“It was nice for there to be Scottish representation in the GB squad again and it was an honour for me to do that,” she said.

“Hopefully there will be a few more joining me at some point. I’d say Scottish basketball is definitely on the rise.

“All of my development until joining Riders has taken place within the Scottish system. Having Caledonia Pride there is a big help and a sign that we’re moving in the right direction.

“I would love to have more Scottish girls in the GB team soon. Hopefully I’ve shown that it’s possible and that gives hope to others who have that same aspiration.”

If it was a shock to be called up for the match against Poland, Robb admits it was even more unexpected to get time on the court.

“I was surprised to hear my name get called off the bench as I had no expectations going into the game as it was my first cap,” she adds.

“There was no pressure on me to do anything special. To make the free throws to get my first points was incredible. That made the whole thing even more special – if that’s even possible! And with it being such a big game I hadn’t expected to get any minutes.”

The British team is scheduled to take on Belarus in Latvia in early February when a victory ought to book their place in the Euro finals, set to take place in France and Spain in the summer. Unsurprisingly, Robb wants to stick around. 

“I would hope I can be involved in that one too,” she says. “I learned so much in my week with the GB squad before, working with different coaches and the experienced players. So I would love to go back and learn more about being a part of that GB culture.

“A win in the Belarus game will put us in a great place to qualify for the finals. And if we do that then I would love to be involved in that if I could. But the focus will just be on the one game in Latvia and take it from there.”

Robb has settled well to her new life in Loughborough, helping Leicester reach the cup final and win their opening league game. If there was a risk in trying to become established at a perennially successful team she felt it was one worth taking.

“It’s the next step up and I’m around a lot more experienced players. It’s exciting to be part of such a talented team and learn from them. Riders have a great record in the league and are one of the most successful clubs.

“I wanted to take the next step in basketball, to push myself around more experienced players but also help contribute. I see it as a challenge but not something that scares me in any way.

“I had great conversations with the coach in the off-season about coming here. And that gave me the confidence to believe I could make that step. He spoke about how he saw me fitting in with the team and that was definitely a boost. That’s what you want to hear before signing with a new club.

“There wasn’t really any talk of a phased transition or anything like that. I’ve just jumped straight in at the deep end. It’s the best way to learn.”