BASKETBALL: ENGLAND star Delme Herriman took time out from his busy schedule before flying out to Australia for the Commonwealth Games.
The 32-year-old forward came home to Widnes to lead a junior basketball camp at Kingsway Leisure Centre.
More than 50 children took advantage of top-level coaching from Herriman and two American teammates at England Basketball League club Manchester Magic.
The 6ft 6in former Fairfield High School pupil has been playing basketball since the age of 12 and plied his sporting trade all over the world.
At the age of 17, he received a Widnes Rotary Club grant to go to university in Ohio where he combined basketball with a psychology degree.
As well as starring on the US college scene, Herriman has played in Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria and France.
But the first title of his long professional career came last year when he won the BBL title with Chester Jets before moving onto Manchester Magic.
At his latest Widnes coaching camp, there were sessions for eight to 11-year-olds in the morning and 12 to 16-year-olds after lunch.
The sessions were organised and funded by Halton Borough Council Sports Development as part of the SPLASH programme.
Jane Rhodes, HBC sports development officer, said: 'The sessions went really well.
'Delme is looking to coach in the summer months on his return and, hopefully, we can run more basketball camps.'
Meanwhile, Herriman and the rest of the England players in a 12-strong squad are now Down Under preparing for the games which run from March 15 to 26.
Organisers are promising the best games yet with 6,000 athletes and officials from 72 countries competing in 16 sports and 24 different disciplines.
Basketball is a first-time inclusion in the Commonwealths and England will games in Pool B against Barbados on Thursday, March 16; New Zealand on Saturday, March 18 and South Africa on Monday, March 20.
The other group, Pool A, involves Australia, Nigeria, Scotland and India.
The men's gold-medal and bronze-medal matches are on Friday, March 24 at Melbourne Park.
While wishing Delme and his colleagues in the England squad every success in their bid for gold, Halton Borough Council is looking to increase basketball participation to create the next generation of stars.
Jane Rhodes added: 'We are now looking for parents or coaches to take teams on in Halton and will support them with training and development.
'We will also help them with applying for funding to start their teams.'
Anyone interested in taking up the offer can contact Jane on 0151 907 8300.