- National Teams
The Telegraph’s Simon Hart published an extremely interesting article this week, asking whether the Olympic import of overseas athletes is good for British sport or if it could be stifling British talent.
A survey of Britain’s Olympic governing bodies published recently revealed that approximately 50 of our 550 British athletes competing at the London 2012 Olympics were born abroad, joining GB after London was chosen as the host in 2005.
‘Plastic Brits’ are what foreign-born athletes are now being called, and according to Hart’s research, basketball (along with volleyball and handball) is one of the biggest recruiters:
“British Basketball, whose figurehead is the Sudan-born, America-based but British-naturalised Chicago Bulls star, Luol Deng, has not been coy about its search for overseas players and even offers citizenship advice on its website. So far, the recruitment policy has yielded 10 overseas players, and fingers are crossed that Detroit Pistons star Ben Gordon (who was actually born in London before moving to the United States as a baby) will join them in time for the Games.”
It is no secret that British Basketball is extremely active in their search for overseas players with British passports, something they have been criticised for by fans on multiple occasions (particularly with the Ben Gordon saga). However it’s argued that if basketball in the UK is truly to take advantage of the exposure and potential growth the 2012 Olympics could bring, then it is in basketball’s best interests to have the strongest team possible on the floor (a stance I personally agree with).
What do you think?
Read the full Telegraph article here