Joining a team mid season can never be an easy task. No matter the sport. Expectations have been set by the front office, goals have been set by coaching staff and now it's down to the players to deliver these objectives.
For the Caledonia Gladiators, the pressure has never been higher to deliver these objectives on the court. With a dominant 22-23 season, finishing second in the overall standings, a brand new state of the art basketball facility, British Basketball Trophy winners and an improved roster to assist in the chances of obtaining that one prestigious goal at the end of the season, the British Basketball Championship.
With heightened expectations, mid December, the Gladiators decided to bring in rookie guard Mike Bothwell to help give the roster a boost. The Willoughby, Ohio native who most recently attended Furman University, playing all five years of eligibility under the impressive Bob Richey(who currently boasts a .700 record in the NCAA D1 as of this date 23/07/24).
The summer after his graduation from Furman, Mike played in the 2023 NBA Summer League as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers who went on to win the competition.
After summer, Mike made a move to play professionally in Israel in August of 2023 but had to leave due to ongoing conflict within the country.
Bothwell was faced with a decision on where to move for his next professional journey. The guard mentioned when joining the Gladiators “I have had quite a few offers over the last few months but I’ve turned them all down because they weren’t the right fit for me. I wanted my first step as a pro to be the right one, and Caledonia feels like that for me right now, which is why I signed.”
With Mike's sights set on Scotland and the British Basketball league, it seems as if the fit was the right move. With the guard already putting up multiple double digit scoring nights, the Gladiators currently sit in second place behind the London Lions in the British Basketball League standings. They have also successfully booked a trip to the final four in Birmingham in which they will hopefully defend their BBL Trophy.
We managed to catch up with Mike Bothwell this week about how he’s found his transition to the UK and the British Basketball League, “Id say the transition has gone well, took me some time to let the game come to me, but it’s made it much easier because my teammates have all been really receptive of me, encouraging me and really wanting to see me do well”.
Mike, who has been a big hit with the fans since moving to the UK, currently sits inside the top voted guards in the All-Star voting for the North. We asked how the greeting from the fans have been since joining the British league, “The fan reception has done well, I’m honestly surprised to see where I am in votes but our fan base is really strong and I also think a lot of my people from back home are big Gladiators fans now too”.