Basketball News

GB Under-18s Fightback Seals 2-0 Series Win in Hungary

Great Britain Under-18s stormed to victory in the final quarter as they defeated Hungary 92-88 to complete a 2-0 series win.

Alan Keane’s side poured in 35 points in the fourth as they battled back from a 10-point deficit at the end of the third.

Kayne Henry-McCalla led the way with a 22-point haul on 7-of-8 shooting, whilst adding six steals with Nelson Boachie-Yiadom adding 20 points in the win.

Jacob Round added 17 points with Caleb Fuller also in double figures with 12 points.

GB were edged out 22-21 in the opening period before the gap increased to five points at the half-time break.

The hosts powered clear in the third as they opened up a 16-point advantage at 64-48. Round netted a three in a 9-0 response from GB, but they would trail 67-57 ahead of the final period.

GB still faced an uphill battle, 80-66 behind with five minutes remaining. Fuller scored six straight to spark a 15-2 run, capped by another triple from Round to cut the gap to two at 83-81.

After a three from Hungary, GB surged ahead with an 8-0 run and Boachie-Yiadom’s late basket sealed the win.

Box score.

GB U18s will be next be in action when they start their Division B campaign in Estonia later this month.

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Twenty-Four Selected for GB Senior Initial Squad

Great Britain’s Senior Men have selected 24 players for their initial squad for the summer as preparations begin for next month’s EuroBasket campaign.

Joe Prunty takes charge of his final summer before leaving the role and has handed a chance to some new faces with training camp set to begin in Manchester on July 31.

Carl Wheatle – who produced a crazy triple-double for GB’s Under-20s earlier this week – receives his first Senior call-up having also helped the U20s reach the semi-finals earlier this afternoon.

Following a recent stint with the LA Clippers at NBA Summer League, Luke Nelson is included in the squad along with fellow uncapped former GB Under-20 stars Jules Dang Akodo and Kavell Bigby-Williams.

Olympians Kieron Achara, Dan Clark, Eric Boateng, Kyle Johnson and Andrew Lawrence provide plenty of experience in the squad – as does Ben Gordon who is included again having made his Senior debut last summer.

Ovie Soko and Myles Hesson both return to the squad having missed last summer due to club commitments with Hesson also currently recovering from a season-ending injury suffered in February.

The quartet of Gabe Olaseni, Teddy Okereafor, Gareth Murray and Ben Mockford are included again having been part of the 12-man squad that secured qualification last summer, while Fahro Alihodzic comes off a Championship-winning season in Greece having just missed out on the final roster 12 months ago.

Chris Caird makes the initial roster for the third consecutive summer, while Justin Sears makes the squad again.

Conner Washington has earned a call-up following a strong year at Leicester Riders along with another former Under-20 Jesse Chuku, while Kofi Josephs impressed in his rookie season in Germany to make the squad.

Some unfamiliar names amongst the squad include Jermel Kennedy, who impressed in his first BBL season at Worcester Wolves, and Kentucky sophomore Sacha Killeya-Jones.

Eligible through his British mother, Killeya-Jones was discovered by GB Under-20s assistant Lloyd Gardner, but was unavailable for the timings of the camp.

Once again, the squad does not include Luol Deng or Joel Freeland, while Championship winner in Japan, Matthew Bryan-Amaning is another notable absentee along with Ashley Hamilton, Ogo Adegboye and injured guard Devon Van Oostrum.

GB Senior Men Initial Roster 2017

Kieron Achara, Glasgow Rocks*
Fahro Alihodzic, Panionios* (Greece)
Kavell Bigby-Williams, Louisiana State University* (US)
Eric Boateng, Blois (France)
Chris Caird, Tindastoll (Iceland)
Jesse Chuku, Kolossos (Greece)
Dan Clark, Murcia (Spain)
Jules Dang Akodo, Burgos (Spain)
Ben Gordon, Texas Legends (US)
Myles Hesson, Nanterre* (France)
Kyle Johnson, London Lightning (Canada)
Kofi Josephs, Hertener Lowener (Germany)
Jermel Kennedy, Worcester Wolves
Sacha Killeya-Jones, University of Kentucky* (US)
Andrew Lawrence, Chalons-Reims (France)
Ben Mockford, Palma (Spain)
Gareth Murray, Glasgow Rocks*
Luke Nelson, UC Irvine (US)
Teddy Okereafor, Flexx Pistoia (Italy)
Gabe Olaseni, Orleans (France)
Justin Sears, Ludwigsburg (Germany)
Ovie Soko, Murcia* (Spain)
Conner Washington, Naevsted* (Denmark)
Carl Wheatle, Biella* (Italy)

* known team for upcoming season

GB’s only home game this summer will be against Greece at the Copper Box on August 19 either side of trips to Israel, Greece and Poland – where prep concludes.

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GB Under-20s Come Through Thriller to Advance to Semi-Finals

Great Britain Under-20s are now just one win away from promotion back to Division A after seeing off Poland 71-69 in the quarter-finals in Oradea, Romania, on Friday.

Andreas Kapoulas’ side pulled together with a huge fourth quarter and held their nerve through a tense finale as both teams had the chance to snatch late victories.

GB fell at the last eight stage to Croatia last summer and had lost their three previous meetings with Poland including the Division B final in 2013, but produced an impressive display to triumph.

Kyle Carey came up with a number of big plays in the second half and he finished with 13 points alongside RJ Eytle-Rock with Amin Adamu and Andre Arissol adding 12 and 10 points respectively.

GB were off to a slow start as they trailed 3-13 after four minutes, but grew into the game and halved the deficit by the end of the first with Arissol having a strong impact on both ends.

A 10-4 run to start the second put GB ahead at 26-25 and they managed to maintain a narrow advantage with Adamu becoming the first player into double figures with the score 38-36 at the break.

A low-scoring third period ensued with GB held to just nine points in the quarter as their opponents moved in front. However, the gap was only four points at 51-47 with 10 minutes to play.

Triples from Carey and Akwasi Yeboah tied the game at 53 before a 10-2 run including eight points from Eytle-Rock made it a 63-55 advantage with five minutes to go.

Arissol hit a three to make it 67-60, but Poland rallied to close within two points at 68-66 with less than 90 seconds left on the clock. Carey recovered from having his 3-point attempt blocked to gather the rebound and lay in, but an and-1 at the other end cut the gap to a single point.

A frantic finish ensued with both teams missing under the basket before Steel grabbed the all-important defensive rebound and went 1-of-2 from the line in the final second.

GB survived the inbounds play and advance to their first semi-final since 2013 where they will face Croatia.

Box score.

The semi-final will take place tomorrow at 6:45pm UK time.

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GB Under-16s Final 12-Man Squad Announced

Great Britain Under-16s first-ever 12-man squad for a European Championships has been announced ahead of the tournament next month.

James Vear’s side recently defeated France Under-15’s in a 3-game series and face Belgium over the weekend.

“We are happy to be able to pick our final twelve but it’s also difficult as we lose players who have been with us since the start of this process,” Vear told GB basketball.

“We have had a good preparation phase which continues this weekend in Belgium, then another camp in the UK and an acclimatisation game vs Greece in Bulgaria.”

“This is an exciting age group with a lot of talent and we need to continue to work hard in the short period we have left before the European Championships.”

It will be a first European Championships for a large number of the squad with Mate Okros and Theo Hughes having represented England at last summer’s tournament, while Christopher Feeney played for Scotland.

Kareem Queeley is not included in the squad after the rising Real Madrid star was unavailable for selection.

GB head to Sofia, Bulgaria from 10-19 August, where they face Portugal, Macedonia, Luxembourg, Georgia and Kosovo in Group D.

GB Under-16s Squad

David Chive, London Greenhouse Pioneers, England
Joseph Barrett, Bradford Dragons, England
Kemari Kennley Bailey, Sussex Bears, England
Louis Norton-Cuffy, Peckham Pride, England
Mate Okros, Kent Crusaders, England
Oluwasegun Shodunke, Kent Crusaders, England
Theo Hughes, Brentwood Fire, England
Tomiwa Sulaiman, Canterbury Academy (ESP), England
Vasja Pandza, Leeds Force, England
Veron Eze, Ipswich, England
Christopher Feeney, Basketball Paisley, Scotland
Eric Donaldson, Bay Area Warriors (USA), England

The post GB Under-16s Final 12-Man Squad Announced appeared first on Hoopsfix.com.


LIVE STREAM: GB U20s v Poland QF – #FIBAU20Europe

Check out the live stream of GB’s quarter-final clash at the Division B European Championships against Poland at 12pm UK time in Oradea, Romania.

Andreas Kapoulas’ side secured their place in the last eight with a resounding win over Azerbaijan on Tuesday and have had time to recover and prepare for today’s encounter.

GB missed out on top spot after coming second in a 3-way tie with Russia and Netherlands following results on the final day Wednesday.

Two wins will secure a first promotion back to Division A since 2013.

Here is a reminder of the 12-man squad:
Amin Adamu, Barking Abbey/Kent Crusaders
Obi Agu, Barking Abbey/Kent Crusaders
Andre Arissol, Otero Junior College (USA)
Harvey Barr, Lake Region State College (USA)
Jubrile Belo, Barking Abbey
Kyle Carey, Barry University (USA – transferred from Northern Colorado at end of season)
Danny Evans, University of Maine (USA)
RJ Eytle-Rock, Barking Abbey/Kent Crusaders
Henri Langton, Charnwood College/Leicester Riders
Josh Steel, University of Duquesne (USA) (last team, departed mid-season)
Carl Wheatle, Angelico Biella (Italy)
Akwasi Yeboah, Stony Brook University (USA)

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Devon van Oostrum Pens Open Letter to BBF Chief

Great Britain’s Devon van Oostrum has penned an open letter to British Basketball Federation CEO Lisa Wainwright, following her ill-informed interview with the BBC this week.

In the interview, Wainwright spoke of unrealistic NBA and WNBA ambitions for British players, before claiming “things are so much better” with the sport and falsely stating that all junior squads finished post-2012; squads that Devon Van Oostrum (DVO) starred on, being named tournament MVP whilst leading the U20s to Division A promotion in 2013.

Van Oostrum was playing for MZT Skopje in Macedonia before suffering a season-ending injury this year with a torn ACL. He last represented the Great Britain Senior Men in 2014 in their EuroBasket qualifiers, and notably was a controversial final cut as a 19 year old from the London 2012 Olympic squad.

In his letter, published exclusively through Hoopsfix, DVO said he has never before been so incensed as to publicly address claims made by the federation, questioning the notion that GB are a player focused programme and adding her comments are harmful to players’ loyalty to the National Teams.

“In response to Lisa Wainwright’s interview.

“We’ve never met. You did an interview with the BBC about GB basketball and its vision for the future. I’ve never felt the urge to respond before after my experiences throughout the years. Your suggestions about loyalty, player focused pathways, producing world-class players, and total commitment from GB for the players are great words. You also said there were no GB youth teams after 2012 and that investment in the future was non-existent.

“I’ve played for GB throughout that time. As for loyalty, I’ve never said no, even if it involved racing from the men’s friendly v Canada to the U18s tournament in Israel, arriving at 4am, with no one to pick me up. When I got cut from the Olympics Squad in 2012, I played for U20s. I’ve never had the opportunity to play in the US over summer in major tournaments, because I thought representing my country was an honour.

“I would like to think that my accomplishments in a GB vest helped the GB case for the future. I still am the only GB youth MVP player at a European championship, was All Star 5 times, and nominated for FIBA young player of the year after playing my second EuroBasket. I was the youngest player ever to earn a senior men’s international. I played for my country rather than my career, didn’t take summers off and risked injury. We finally achieved our dream of getting promotion to Div A with U20 after coming so close before (finishing 3rd at U16 and within in a game in 2012 with U20 before). We never gave up as players and stayed loyal to GB and each other.

“I’m rehabbing from an ACL injury now (4 months in and hoping to be back even better). I’ve never heard from you. Yet you say there was no youth basketball or GB excellence after 2012 due to funding. We were still there. It wasn’t the money. How is this a player focused GB programme? It’s hurtful to players’ loyalty and sacrifice to erase history and make ludicrous suggestions (20 players in the NBA and WNBA). Yet you ask us to show loyalty and sacrifice for GB. Over the years, we’ve done our part. Many times over.

“It would be nice to have heard from you.”

Devon van Oostrum becomes another player to speak out publicly against the programme, joining an ever-growing list that includes Luol Deng, Drew Sullivan, Dan Clark, and Ovie Soko, as frustrations with what is perceived as a lack of any visible progress continue.

Wainwright has been contacted and offered a chance to reply.

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Great Britain Under-18s Beat Hungary in Series Opener

Great Britain Under-18s continued their preparations ahead of the European Championships with an 85-70 victory in Hungary on Thursday.

Alan Keane confirmed his final 12-man squad for the Euros in Estonia later this month having recently beaten Division A opposition in a prep tournament in Italy.

Kayne Henry-McCalla top scored with a 16-point haul with four other players hitting double figures, while Kayiem Clearly was a point short of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

GB trailed 19-26 at the end of the first quarter, but turned things around in the second with Nathan Robinson netting three triples to help his side establish a 44-35 half-time advantage.

The lead grew to 15 points early in the third on a three from Henry-McCalla and GB maintained their double-digit cushion throughout to take a 64-52 lead into the final 10 minutes.

Hungary closed to within single figures in the fourth, but Jacob Round quickly restored a 12-point lead with his first triple and the victory was secured.

GB finished 8-of-13 from 3-point range, whilst shooting 15/27 of their free throws.

Box score.

There will be a second game played between the two sides as GB complete their preparation games.

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Carl Wheatle Has 11 Point, 18 Rebound, 10 Assist Triple Double!

Check out how Carl Wheatle amassed his impressive 11 point, 18 rebound, 10 assist triple double for the GB u20s against Azerbaijan, as they locked up their quarter final spot at the U20 European Championships.

The 18 rebounds was a GB record since the programme was reborn in 2006.

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Danny Evans Knocks Down 7 Three Pointers for 25 Points vs Azerbaijan

Danny Evans top scored with seven triples in a 25-point haul to help lead the GB U20s to a Quarter Final spot at the Division B European Championships.

Check out his highlights above and the game report here.

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GB Under-20s Brush Aside Azerbaijan to Secure Spot in Last Eight

Great Britain Under-20s have qualified for the quarter-finals at the European Championships in Oradea, Romania after beating Azerbaijan 111-68 on Tuesday.

Andreas Kapoulas’ side advance with a 3-1 record and are now just two wins away from securing promotion back to Division B.

Carl Wheatle made history with an incredible triple-double with 11 points, 18 rebounds (10 offensive) and 10 assists in his side’s victory.

Danny Evans top scored with seven triples in a 25-point haul, while Amin Adamu added 19 points and Josh Steel had 14 with five players in double figures.

GB set the tone early on with a strong start as Josh Steel’s triple capped an 11-0 opening. Azerbaijan finally got their first points on the board after nearly six minutes with GB leading 20-7 at the end of the first with Yeboah scoring seven in the period.

Evans fired in his first triple early in the second as GB began to power clear with Steel firing in five points in the midst of a dominant 18-1 spell to push the lead past 30 points at 44-13.

Azerbaijan refused to give up without a fight and provided a competitive third period as they quickly doubled their first-half tally as the two teams traded blows throughout.

GB kept pace with their opponents, aided by a 3-point blitz from Evans as he went 3-6-9-12 in 90 seconds before adding a fifth soon after. However, their opponents had the final say in the period with a fortuitous triple to take the quarter 30-28.

GB made a 12-2 start to the fourth with threes for Amin Adamu and Andre Arissol as the gap hit 45 points at 92-47. The century was brought up by Wheatle midway through the final quarter before completing his triple-double with his 10th assist with GB rounding out a comprehensive victory.

Box score.

Note: Starters were Eytle-Rock, Steel, Wheatle, Yeboah & Langton.

GB now have two days before their quarter-final takes place on Friday with their opponent unknown as their place in Group B is still undecided.

Kapoulas’ side will only miss out on top spot if the Netherlands also finish 3-1.

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