New head coach Joe Prunty has named the initial seventeen players who are expected to join him at training camp which opens up at the FA National Football Centre at St George’s Park on Friday 2nd August.
The Eurobasket 2013 preliminary squad, as originally thought, is without Luol Deng and Joel Freeland, and also doesn’t include Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens who Prunty was known to have been pursuing.
Deng, who said in February he was most likely not playing, needs further rest following his spinal tap complications during the playoff with Chicago, whilst Freeland needs to focus on his NBA career after a rocky rookie year with Portland.
The squad features seven familiar faces from last year’s Olympic team, Kieron Achara, Eric Boateng, Dan Clark, Kyle Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, Drew Sullivan, and Pops Mensah-Bonsu; however, Mensah-Bonsu’s situation remains unclear – he is scheduled to appear in a George Washington alumni showcase running from July 25th through to August 8th in the States.
Ashley Hamilton will be looking to make the final 12 for the first time, however, he’ll be hoping he remains healthy after having to withdraw from an NBA Summer League call up with the Sacramento Kings earlier this month due to injury.
Orlan Jackman and Liam Potter are the two new faces in this year’s squad, Jackman a former GB U20 who has just finished his first professional season in the BBL with the London Lions, and Potter a former GB Futures player.
It will be a return to the team after a five year hiatus for Dzaflo Larkai, who last made the preliminary squad in 2008 and has since forged himself a successful professional career in Japan where he has won national championships.
Devon van Oostrum has once again received a call up, being the youngest member of the squad, following his impressive performances with the Under-20s in Romania which saw him named as the Division B European Championship MVP.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning has also been named in the squad, however, is expected to be unavailable having just been drafted by a team in Korea for next season.
The preliminary squad is as follows:
Devon Van Oostrum
The team’s first preparation game will be against Puerto Rico at the Copper Box in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London at on August 11th. The team will then travel to Finland, Greece, Poland and Spain for further preparation fixtures ahead of EuroBasket at the beginning of September (see full list here).
“I’m excited to be working with both the veteran GB players and the new up and coming talent this summer,” said Prunty. “Myself and my coaching team are ready for the challenge ahead and committed to getting the best out of the squad to make the GB family and fans proud.”
Meanwhile, the GB coaching staff will be in London next week with GB Futures players for two practice sessions, meeting former GB U20s and potential future GB Senior players.