British Basketball announced today that Charlotte Bobcats forward Byron Mullens will no longer be joining the Great Britain squad for the Olympic games this summer.
A lingering toe injury is officially being blamed for forcing him out of action, making him, along with Ben Gordon, the second NBA call-up to not show up at training camp in Houston.
However, journalists in Charlotte tell a different story, with Charlotte Observer Bobcats reporter Rick Bonnell tweeting earlier in the day:
Biyombo, Mullins, Carroll and Higgins in gym. Dunlap coaching #Bobcats like it’s mid-training camp already.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 21, 2012
Regardless of the reason Mullens isn’t playing, head coach Chris Finch is refusing to have his focus taken away from the squad he has available:
“It is disappointing but we have a very strong squad in camp with us in Houston at the moment. Everyone here is focused on the task at hand and we now turn our attention to our first warm up games of the summer this week.”
British Basketball are holding out hope Ben Gordon will still show up, with Performance Director Chris Spice releasing the following statement earlier in the week:
“Ben Gordon is continuing his training in Detroit and has not yet joined the GB squad this summer. His situation will be reassessed in a week’s time when we will be in a position to comment further.”
Elsewhere in the squad, Myles Hesson has been called up to replace Nick George (a late call-up himself), who suffered a thigh strain in the first practice session of the week which put an end to his Olympic hopes.
The squad now stands at 17, with Ovie Soko being the surprise omission who was originally announced in the preliminary squad. In addition, Alex Marcotullio is also missing, whilst Sullivan Phillips has been ruled ineligible and Ryan Richards has withdrawn.
The 17 man squad is as follows:
Devon van Oostrum
The team face their first test of the summer tonight as they play Nigeria, where Luol Deng will not play as a precaution as he continues to try to rest the torn ligaments in his wrist. Tonight’s game against Nigeria tips off at 19:00 at Houston Baptist University. Great Britain play Lithuania on Saturday before travelling to San Antonio on Monday to play Russia.
Image Credit: David Liam Kyle/NBAE
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