Coach Alan Keane Reflects on GB Under-18 Campaign -

Coach Alan Keane Reflects on GB Under-18 Campaign

Alan Keane GB U18s

Head Coach Alan Keane has paid tribute to his squad and coaching staff following the Great Britain Under-18 Men’s promotion to Division A and Silver place finish at the Division B European Championship on Sunday.

GB suffered an agonising 90-84 overtime loss to Croatia in the final, just falling short of becoming the first male British team to win a gold at a European Championship.

“As tough as it was to accept the outcome of last night, no game defines us and our ability to be successful,” Keane told Hoopsfix.

“Only our behaviours and commitment to pursue excellence in every moment define us – on and off the court. From day one, we were very clear on what success looked like for us. That was very simply defined as ‘doing the best we can with what we have in every moment’, credit and shout our to Mark Bennett, one of my two mentors for that. That goes beyond the basketball court.

“We never took dessert after meals, we weighed in after every game and practice to identify the weight loss and exact required amount of fluid to be replaced. We made our beds every morning and tried our best to make the cleaning crew redundant, we tried to foam roll better everyday, we tried to improve our warm up everyday.

“We aimed to give a better scouting report everyday, we aimed to create better passing angles everyday. We aimed to grow and keep building, everyday. A hyper focus on giving more, even if it’s just 1%, was our only success criteria.”

Great Britain finished 6-2 overall at the tournament, picking up wins over Czech Republic, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Albania, Bulgaria and Estonia, whilst suffering a two point loss to Sweden in the group stages and then Croatia in the final.

Kayne Henry was named to the All Tournament team, averaging 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game across the eight games.

“I couldn’t be more proud of each and every member of this group, staff and players,” Keane continued.

“I can’t give enough credit to the players for buying into the system, trusting the process and leaving the ego at the door. Ian (MacLeod), Peter (Berenyi), Pistol (Pete Daines), Ellen (Scott), Paddy (Waplington), Rob (Newson), and Vladan (Dragosavac), what a crew. We asked the players to expose their vulnerabilities and the result of that you saw on the court. However, maximum credit to the staff for accepting the same and giving everything they got.

“Final shout out to the families and friends and awesome support from back home. You all gave a gold medal performance and without you we can’t do this.

“Lastly, I want to highlight to all, we are moving in the right direction, the talent in the UK is awesome, be relentless, challenge and support, but most of all be patient. We are coming.”

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