- National Teams
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today announced the 12 players that will represent Team GB in women’s basketball at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Giant strides have been made by the British squad since the formation of British Basketball in 2007, and fittingly, the London Games will be the first time that Team GB has been represented in women’s basketball at the Olympics. The squad announced today will be in confident mood after having defeated the Czech Republic, ranked fourth in the world, on Wednesday of this week.
The final roster is as follows:
Dominique Allen (Oral Roberts University, USA)
Rose Anderson (UWIC Archers)
Kim Butler (Skcesis, Latvia)
Stef Collins (UWIC Archers)
Temi Fagbenle (Harvard University, USA)
Chantelle Handy (Athinaikos, Greece)
Jo Leedham (Bulleen Boomers, Australia)
Julie Page (Torun, Poland)
Natalie Stafford (Sydney University Flames, Australia)
Azania Stewart (University of Florida, USA)
Rachael Vanderwal (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Jenaya Wade-Fray (UWIC Archers)
While none of the players have previous Olympic experience, they have every reason to be optimistic about their prospects of producing competitive and creditable performances on home soil this summer after registering some notable results in recent years.
The British women made history by qualifying for the 2011 EuroBasket tournament for the first time where they reached the second round, and they have recently beaten countries including South Korea, Argentina and Canada – all with significantly higher world rankings – in the build-up to this summer’s Olympic competition.
In their most important year since the team’s inception, the Team GB women’s basketball selection represents a good blend of youth and experience and will allow the side to gauge their progress by competing with some of the world’s top nations. Before the Games, Team GB will play preparatory matches against Angola, Australia and France in Sheffield before meeting reigning gold medallists USA in Manchester.
The Basketball Arena in the Olympic Park will play host to the preliminary round and women’s quarter-final, and the semi-finalists will relocate to the North Greenwich Arena where the final will also be contested on Saturday 11th August.
The announcement was made today at Loughborough University, which is hosting the Team GB Preparation Camp prior to the Games.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“The progress that British Basketball has made over the past five years is remarkable and the British women have already proven that they can punch well above their weight with a number of victories over higher ranked opponents.
“London 2012 presents a fabulous opportunity for the women’s team to showcase British basketball to a new generation of sports fans. Home support can make a huge difference and I’m sure the crowd at the Basketball Arena will be willing the team on to cause a few more upsets.”
Star player Jo Leedham, is ecstatic to be heading to the Olympics:
“Being selected in the final 12 as an individual is a very proud moment for me and is something I will cherish forever. I’m really excited to be in the Olympic Village, I can’t quite imagine how great it is going to be at the moment.
“For us as a team it is unbelievable. We have come so far in recent years and achieved what was needed to qualify for London 2012. We are so excited to be at the Olympics, we have worked so hard and all the girls definitely deserve their place. We can’t wait to get going.”
Massive shout out to all the team – get it done!
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