British Basketball has today named the 19 Great Britain Under-20 men’s players who will be attending training camp in Colchester at the Braintree Campus this weekend.
The squad is led by the formidable duo of 7’0″ Spurs draft pick Ryan Richards (1991 born) and 1993 born Caja Laboral point guard Devon Van Oostrum but is not without absentees, most notably UAB forward Ovie Soko, who led the side in scoring last summer with a 19.1 average. The full initial roster is as follows;
GB U20 Men Initial Roster
Shore Adenekan (England)
John Bunyan (Scotland)
Jeff Dirkin (England)
Keegan Dunlop (Scotland)
Alasdair Fraser (Scotland)
Harrison Gamble (England)
Lee Goldsbrough (England)
Will Hall (England)
Josh Houghton (England)
Josh Johnson (England)
Alex Marcotullio (Scotland)
Ali Mackay (Scotland)
Levi Noel (England)
Lee Reilly (Scotland)
Ryan Richards (England)
Will Saunders (England)
Jack Thompson (England)
Adam Thoseby (England)
Devon Van Oostrum (England)
Colchester hosts the combined under-20 men’s and women’s camp for the very first time. Head of Performance at British Basketball, Warwick Cann commented:
“Last year’s first ever GB combined team camp was a great success which really helped the teams’ performances at the European Championships.
“Colchester and the College at Braintree is a fantastic venue which is well supported by the Colchester Institute and will provide the teams with all they need to prepare for this summer.”
The teams will be joined in Colchester at the weekend by NBA strength and conditioning coach, Jason Sumerlin from the San Antonio Spurs.
Warwick Cann continued:
“Having such an experienced professional from the best basketball league and teams in the world in camp with the under-20’s is a great help with our preparation. This year we trying to build on previous successes with a focus on sports science, nutrition, strength and conditioning, as well as psychology. The GB teams have also added performance analysis coaches to each team to assist with scouting and game analysis in another attempt to raise performance levels.
“We also have a good programme for working both on and off court with workshops held with a leading sports psychologist designed to maximise performance.”
The Standard Life GB under-20 men are straight into their preparation this weekend when they take on Scotland’s under-23 men as part of their schedule. Games will be at 3.00pm this Saturday and Sunday at the college at Braintree.
A number of other players were considered for the squad but were unavailable for selection due to various reasons. They included the aforementioned Ovie Soko, as well as; Teddy Okereafor, Tom Pereira, Keelan Cairns (who chose to play for Ireland), Raheem May-Thompson, Josh Owen-Thomas, Ryan Martin, Grant Fiorentinos, Aaron Geramipoor, Abodunrin Olaseni, and Vince Van Nes.
GB officials were also trying to entice 1994 born FC Barcelona phenom Nicholas Spires to the team, who qualifies for a British passport through his father Phil Spires, who used to play for Crystal Palace in the mid-eighties. However, it wasn’t meant to be as the 6’9″ power forward chose to represent his native Sweden in international competition.
The GB U20s will be competing in the Division B European Youth Championships taking place from mid-July, having been drawn in Group C which will see them face Luxemburg, Czech Republic, Portugal, Finland and Norway when they take to the court in Sarajevo.
What do you think of the initial squad list? High hopes? Anyone missing?