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West dorset man awarded match ball after Olympic efforts
A West Dorset basketball fan and Olympic Games Maker has been awarded one of only 25 official London 2012 basketball game balls as a thank you for his work.
Craig Sorrell from Shipton Gorge also had the idea of organising a basketball match to be hosted by the Basketball Games Makers, an idea that the Olympics Committee have welcomed and the match – with Craig playing – is due to take place next Sunday, September 23 in London.
During his stint at the Games, Craig, who plays point guard for Bridport Basketball Club Evolution, met celebrities like David Beckham, Boris Johnson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the first lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
But Craig, who lives with partner Kate and daughters Madison and Marnie, says the biggest thrill was being able to get close and interact with some of the biggest basketball stars from around the world.
Once the games began Craig found himself sitting on the closest seat to the basketball court with 20,000 spectators chanting and cheering.
“It was an amazing atmosphere inside the arena, every now and again I had to keep telling myself that I was actually there and it wasn’t just a dream,” said Craig, now coming back down to earth and back to his day job as an electrician for Salway Ash company Peter George Electrical.
His Olympic dream began back in November, 2010, when Craig received an email from a member of the England Basketball Association asking if he was interested in applying for a volunteer role.
He attended an interview in which he was asked to explain his history with basketball and why he would be a great volunteer for the Games.
After a lengthy application process in September last year Craig received the email he had been praying for to confirm he had been selected as a Field of Play Team Member.
Week one saw Craig helping the basketball teams upon arrival into the Olympic Village and helping them to settle into their training regimes.
During the Games he helped man the entrance and exit tunnels on to the court, and went on guard beside the court to catch stray balls.
Craig says he feels hugely inspired by London 2012 and his involvement in it and he came away with some amazing souvenirs including a special edition relay baton and a signed shirt from his favorite American basketball player.
The Olympic Game ball is not going to be bounced around on the Bridport court.
“I am getting a glass box to put that in!” he vowed.