GB: Richards & Phillips Out, George In

Ryan Richards
With two days to go until Great Britain training camp opens in Houston, the preliminary squad is facing a number of different changes. Both Ryan Richards and Sullivan Phillips are out, whilst GB veteran Nick George has received a late call up.

Ryan Richards (1991 born) has declared himself out of all GB proceedings this summer, pulling out of GB Futures and senior camp despite being named to both squads. It is believed Jamaica have shown an interest in the 7 footer, but with FIBA having strict rules which tie a player to a country after representing them above U18 level, Richards would require special dispensation to fulfil any move.

Talking to Sittingbourne Messenger, GB Performance Director Spice said:

“Clearly Ryan is a talented athlete. He’s been with both GB and England for quite some time. We’re disappointed that he’s made that decision. But we have to move on.”

Richards will head to Chicago to workout over the summer and prepare for next season.

Sullivan Phillips has been ruled out after falling foul to the same strict FIBA rules, with it being discovered he has already played a game at senior level with Bermuda.

Spice, talking to The Royal Gazette Online said:

“After submitting the paperwork to FIBA, we found out (Phillips) played in a senior game for Bermuda.”

With Phillips’ Olympic dream in tatters, a different Olympic dream has been created for GB veteran Nick George.

Taking to Twitter to announce the news on Monday night, the mancunian said:

“I was getting ready to book my vacation when I call from Great Britain basketball…I’m happy as hell to get an invite to camp! ‪#Crazyyear‬”

Having taken some time away from basketball due to personal reasons, George returned this season with Lugano Tigers in Switzerland.

It is expected the final squad will be confirmed in the next 48 hours.


  • chris scruton

    Nick should have been called up from day one. He was a very good back to Luol in the 2008 Eurobasket qualifying campaign.

  • Joshua Nicholls

    That sucks that Richards is out. No doubt he would have been one of the key players for GB in the future. I’d like to hear why he would rather play for Jamaica, doesn’t make much sense to me.

  • igy

    ryan richards is scared to compete against good competition at the GB camp, dude needs to man up and get a better head on his shoulders if he ever wants to play NBA ball,

  • chris scruton

    I think he is lacking something between his ears. Waste of talent, and I would be amazed if he ended up on a NBA/Eurolegue team.

  • Richie

    Very difficult to know what has led to Ryan’s decisions over the last year or two (& what advice he has been given), but you cant help but wonder if being drafted by the Spurs – and the huge level of expectation / pressure to perform / baggage that comes with that was about the worst thing that could happen to this young player. No-one disputes the massive potential Ryan has, but having the right mindset is as important as having the right fundamental skills and I wonder if a more gradual development would actually have led to a better player. So sad his future doesn’t appear to be with GB.

  • Laurence

    Gutting for GB basketball to lose Ryan Richards

  • nobody

    I thought he left Lugano Tigers in Switzerland for personal reasons during the season and then returned to basketball in Georgia.

    I am not sure what is going through the young man’s head but I guess he knew that he would not be going to the Olympics and decided to bail out early. We have had six years of drama from this lad, I just hope for his sake that he settles down and starts to play some basketball because we have not seen a lot of him on the court in the last 3 years and I think it will be sad to see such talent dwindle away.

  • Titletown99030507d

    He left Lugano for lack of playing time and now feels he’ll get some burn with Jamaica if he’s allowed. Probably wouldn’t see much playing time with the Senoir GB team so his decision probably is based on where he can get the most playing time. He needs to showcase his game to Popovich as much as he can inorder to get down to the Spurs farm club Austin Toros. We would like to see him down here sooner than later to see what he can bring to the Spurs. He needs to get to the D-League (Toros) asap to ease in with the NBA style of play. If he doesn’t do it soon he may be a forgotten memory in Pop’s mind. Although the Spurs did pay for both his surgeries on both of his shoulders and monitored his recovery so maybe they have a vested interest in him.

    • He got good minutes in Lugano.

      I do think the reason he wants to play with Jamaica is the fact that he knows he will most likely make the team and getting playing time. I mean he didn’t even make the GB team over last summer when the team decided to keep a bunch of point guards. So I think he seen the hand writing on the wall after that.

  • igy

    I said it first!! before hoopsfix breaks this and you can confirm this with GB basketball but BEN GORDON is to miss the start of GB Training camp tommorow for unspecified reasons!!! here we go again!!!! Ben gordon not playing again I bet!!

  • Drazen Petrovic

    Given the choice to represent between Team GB or Jamaica in International Hoops, anybody who picks the latter neds their head examined.
    Richards has definitely blown it big time with this incomprehensible decision. Agree entirely with Titletown99030507d – if the kid was serious about developing he would be playing in the D-league already.. Such a pity too, he has the phyical tools and potential to be a solid player.

  • Ginobili!

    Richards would have been playing for the Toro’s the past couple of years if it wasn’t for contract obligations two summers ago overseas and the NBA lockout last year when he was forced to go back and play in Europe. Pop and RC will be at the Olympics keeping an eye on the rest of the spurs playing and also keeping an eye on him playing for Jamaica. I’m sure he would love to play for GB but this is about showing his talent on a big level to Pop and RC. I’m sure in the future he will be playing for GB in the next Olympics.

    • Joshua Nicholls

      I think if he plays for Jamaica he’ll never be able to play for GB again like whats happend with Phillips.

  • Mark

    Jamaica are playing 18th-21st June in the Centrobasket Championship 2012 this summer. ( I think from this the top 4 or 5 teams qualify for the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. As he won’t be playing for them this summer he is maybe thinking more long term and hoping they can do well next week so he as a chance to play for them next summer in their continental championship.

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