Watch out America, the Britons are lining upů their basketball squad for London 2012
Watch out Americans, because the Britons have started to line up their basketball squad for the London 2012 Olympics. Well team USA has always set their eyes on tougher competition but comparing themselves to the Great Britain always brings healthy competition to the sport.
The three star players from the British squad were unveiled by coach Chris Finch in a preliminary press conference for the men’s basketball squad. No eyebrows were raised when the names Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens were announced, and yes you might have heard of them because they all play in the NBA!!
Gordon, who plays as guard for the Detroit Pistons has long desired to break into Britain’s national squad. Meanwhile, Charlotte Bobcats centre Mullens just received his passport last month. Deng, who was the first British player to appear in an All-Star game earlier this year, is considered to be the LeBron James of Britain, but that fact is yet to be proven.
Finch named these three stars in a squad of 21 that will be trimmed down to just 12 players in the coming months. The final roster will be announced in early July.
“I am very excited to pull on the GB jersey this summer and play for my country. To be invited into camp is the first step in that journey and I am immensely proud to have the opportunity,” said Gordon.
“I am totally committed to playing with the Standard Life GB team this year and look forward to being part of the squad hoping to make 2012 a year to remember for British Basketball fans.”
Interestingly, a former NBA player has also returned to Britain’s national team. After missing last year’s Euro Basket because of an injury Pops Mensah Bonsu is ready to charge for the Great Britain. Bonsu has been in impressive form for the Turkish outfit Besiktas.
National team regulars Joel Freeland and Robert Archibald are also expected to win a final call-up. Both players are enjoying strong seasons in the Spanish top flight of basketball. The only players from the squad that play in England and are expected to shine are Sheffield’s Nate Reinking and Leicester’s Andrew Sullivan.
Finch also had time to comment on the British Basketball League, which has seen a lot of improvement since its initiation in 2006.
“The GB basketball programme has come a long way since 2006 and the blend we have now of experienced talent with the younger guys is fantastic to see,” said Finch. Team Britain will play against USA in a series of warm-up games.
“We have the potential for a world class team who will surprise a few people this summer,” Finch continued. “The commitment from all our players to the programme once again is great and it’s also good to see our strength and depth continuing to increase year on year.”