British

Initial GB Senior Men’s Preliminary Squad Named

July 26, 2013 11:33 am 19 comments

by Sam Neter

Devon van Oostrum

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:

2013 GB Senior Men Initial 17 Man Squad

Kieron Achara
Ogo Adegboye
Eric Boateng
Matthew Bryan-Amaning
Dan Clark
Ashley Hamilton
Myles Hesson
Orlan Jackman
Kyle Johnson
Dzaflo Larkai
Andrew Lawrence
Alex Marcotullio
Pops Mensah-Bonsu
Liam Potter
Justin Robinson
Andrew Sullivan
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.

Thoughts?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Leo July 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

It’s good to see some players from the BBL (and as a Lions fan, especially Jackman). Hopefully there will be more in few years!

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Fife Mustafa July 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Kinda upset that we cant get all our nba players in the team imagine if we could get Byron Mullens Ben gordon Loul Deng Joel Freeland

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Matt July 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Anyone planning on going to Slovenia?

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Chris Scruton July 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I’m going. Won’t be there for the first game though.

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LLC#12 July 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Personally, I’m not at all bothered about not having Mullens or Gordon. We should only want players who will commit themselves, not players who need chasing. I’m much happier having a team of players who really want to be there. This squad has a lot of home-grown talent, and though I don’t expect much from Slovenia (2-3, or 3-2 if we get lucky) it’s a step in the right direction.

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FM99 July 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Youre right but players like Ben Gordon and Mullens arent commited but they are great and can help us win the players on the squad might want to be there but are they good enough to help us win?

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LLC#12 July 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Yeah, no question our team would be stronger with Gordon and Mullens, but we aren’t going to be superpowers over-night, we have to think long term. Ben Gordon is 30, even if he does decide to play (which I’ve doubted since day 1), do we really want a 30 year old taking valuable minutes away from a 21 or 22 or 23 year old guard who is going to be a cornerstone of the programme for another 10 years?

If Gordon and Mullens would get us onto the podium, I’d be all for it. But let’s be realistic, I don’t think they would.

I’ve got no doubt that this tournament might be a “baptism of fire” for a lot of players, but in the long term, it will be beneficial.

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FM99 July 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm

You’re exactly right but we need to win we might have a bright future with players like duco luke nelson josh Steele Andrew Lawrence but right now our funding will be based on the present and if we have to take the training camp to these people we have to win and plus Bryon is only 25

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bigdogg July 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Other than Pops worst GB team assembled in 6 years. Never going to win.

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Rob Knapper July 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Have to agree. I think this is one of the worst GB mens squad we have ever selected. Still if it means that the younger players get more minutes then i am all for it.

Trouble is though, UK SPORT have stated that qualification for the worlds is paramount in continuing the funding…

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Northwards July 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Yep, expectations low. But be good to see dvo and Lawrence combo at the point.

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voise July 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Let’s wait and see who turns up to camp :\

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Duke July 29, 2013 at 9:34 am

The biggest problem we have here is exposure.
Apart from the relatively small basketball community we have in this country, nobody knows GB have a national team. The sport needs to be on free to air TV and the team needs to play more games up and down the country.
We need all the support we can get at these upcoming championships but yet we are playing just 1 game at home??
Unless you are an avid and adept internet user you will not be able to follow your own team.
If you are a child today, who are you trying to emulate as a home grown basketball player??? What are we doing as a country to make basketball as attractive as possible for the next generation.
The current BBL is a shambles. There are sub standard imports the appear to be franchise players. Apart from Sullivan and a small handful of brits, who else is there for kids to follow…….

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