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British Basketball Performance Director Chris Spice has said the Great Britain Under-20s and Futures Programme “will certainly have to go” following the devastating announcement that basketball will receive zero funding from UK Sport in the run up to Rio 2016.
In an interview today with TalkSport, Spice was asked what the funding cut will prevent British Basketball from doing, to which he responded:
“It’ll certainly mean we won’t be able to invest in our youngsters, and that is the biggest disappointment to me, to be honest. Our Under-20s and Futures programmes will certainly have to go.”
Meanwhile, British Basketball seem confident of fielding the senior teams at Eurobasket 2013 through the help of reserves from the last cycle of funding and commercial sponsors, which they estimate are enough to last approximately 1 year. However, they are clear that both teams will be funded nowhere near to the extent of previous ones.
Questions remain over whether or not they will be able to afford the insurance of GB’s NBA players such as Luol Deng and now Joel Feeland. Talking to Hoopsfix today from British Basketball’s offices in central London, Chairman Roger Moreland said “it’s impossible to say” whether not they will be able to finance the insurance that costs hundreds of thousands of pounds.
British Basketball have said they are going to appeal UK Sport’s decision, expecting to present to the board on January 30th 2012.
“…I think we’ve got a case, we’ve got a story and I’m hoping that when we get in front of the (UK Sport) board they will see just how far we’ve come and how much we can improve in the next four years,” added Spice. “We think we can qualify for Rio, and of course, Europe is so strong if you can qualify through Europe you do get in the medal hunt, which the French and the Russians proved this time around.”
Listen to the full interview over at TalkSport (it begins approximately 21 minutes in).
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