CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Surrey Heat basketball player Caylin Raftopoulos on his perfect Surrey weekend

PUBLISHED: 13:13 15 March 2013 | UPDATED: 13:13 15 March 2013

Caylin Raftopoulos can usually be found in the thick of the action at a Surrey Heat basketball match

Caylin Raftopoulos can usually be found in the thick of the action at a Surrey Heat basketball match

N/A

At five foot eight, Caylin Raftopoulos, the 20-year-old son of Surrey Heat’s head coach, may look dwarfed by the other basketball players on court, but his speed and accuracy have made him a firm favourite. This is his first season as a player for the British Basketball League (BBL) team, and he is certainly one to watch for the future...

I live in Deepcut with my mum, dad and 10-year-old brother, having returned from the USA where I went to High School and combined my focus on education with a huge amount of training and practice in basketball.

It’s great being in Surrey – it’s normally easy to get around without being stuck in traffic and it feels quite laid-back. During the week, I train three times with my Surrey Heat teammates at ACS Cobham and I also go to Surrey Sports Park in Guildford three times a week to work out in the gym with personal trainers and focus on my strength and conditioning.

Our home games at Surrey Sports Park are normally on Sunday afternoons, which means that I have to use the weekends to focus and prepare myself for the challenge ahead. After training on Friday evening, I have a good meal at home, usually rice or pasta. I spend Saturday relaxing at home, to get my mind and body ready for the following day. I relax by watching sport on TV – basketball, if it’s on, or football, as I’m a huge Manchester United fan. I also enjoy playing FIFA 13 on Xbox.

If there is any video footage available of the team who we will be playing the following day, I watch that too, so that I can learn as much about them and their style of play as possible. I’m always in bed by around 10pm and wake up at about 9am the following morning to have a big breakfast. I don’t like eating much before a game so breakfast is key on game day.

The Heat is on…

I head to Surrey Sports Park at around 1pm and warm up with the other players. Tip off is at 3pm, and although there’s a lot of entertainment happening on the court during the game – such as amazing dancing from Heat Street 13 and larking around from the team’s mascot, Scorcher – I don’t pay attention to that part. I keep my focus on the game.

This is the first professional club I’ve played for and I’m really loving my time on court – the home crowd gives us so much support. My biggest achievement so far for the Heat has been playing for a 20-minute period during the game against Leicester Riders, who were undefeated at that point. Despite the fact that two of the key Heat players were injured, we broke Leicester’s unbeaten record and I played a key role by scoring nine points in a relatively short period of time.

After a game, I go out for a meal in Guildford or Woking with some of the Heat players – hopefully to celebrate a win. We all like going to Nandos or TGIs. We certainly attract attention when we are out together – normally because I’m with quite a few guys who are over six foot tall. I always get asked, “Aren’t you a bit short to play basketball?” I may be five foot eight, but I am very nimble. I think of it as an advantage – opponents often underestimate me and then are surprised by how fast I can be.

When we don’t have a home game, I often do basketball coaching and have recently been coaching five to seven-year-olds at Woking Leisure Centre. I started playing basketball from the age of six and I hope to inspire other youngsters. I think it’s also good for them to realise that you don’t need to be tall to succeed in basketball. You need to practise a lot, keep fit – and love the game!

For further details about the Surrey Heat and their list of fixtures, visit surreyheat.com

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:59

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Yesterday, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Yesterday, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Year 5 pupils at Reigate St Mary’s School (RSM) who designed and carried out a community project as part of a UK wide Make a Difference Challenge, have won the London area competition for their stunning scrapbook record of their project

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Surrey this month

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search