GB have done remarkably well to climb the rankings in recent years and their latest position of 23rd in the world is enough to make them the third best team in Group A. However, rankings are never a clear indication of how events will unfold and Joe Prunty is missing several key players and will expect a tough ride in Slovenia. Here are their opponents..
Marc of a champion (Credit: Dave More)
Marc Steutel has described GB’s recent promotion to Division A as one of the ‘proudest basketball moments of his career’ as he now prepares for another season with Team Northumbria.
“It’s quite difficult to really put into words how special it was”
The under-20’s side won their first seven matches at the European Championships before falling short in the Final against Poland, a team they had beaten earlier in the tournament. GB will now compete in Division A at under-20 level for the first time, which is a remarkable achievement to underline their progression.
“It really is amazing to be a part of something that is great for the future of British Basketball,” added Steutel, who was the performance analyst/assistant coach in Romania.
Countdown to Slovenia
Joe Prunty has selected 17 players for his first squad as the new GB head-coach in preparation for the 2013 EuroBasket.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers assistant has had to make do without leading NBA stars Luol Deng and Joel Freeland while Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens are once again not involved.
Prunty seems to have an eye on the future having selected the young trio of Myles Hesson, Alex Marcotullio and the Under-20’s MVP at the European Championships, Devon van Oostrum. The three men will no doubt relish the opportunity to learn from experienced members of the squad including the likes of Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Leicester Riders’ Drew Sullivan.
Orlan Jackman has been rewarded for having a fine first season in the BBL with his first call-up while former BBL players Liam Potter and Dzaflo Larkai are the other new additions to the GB squad. The former last played in the UK with the Everton Tigers in 2010 while Potter has recently played for both Leicester and Plymouth.
Great Britain have gained promotion to Division A after reaching the final of the Under 20’s European Championships in Romania.
They secured their place in the top league with a hard-fought 70-61 victory over Hungary in the semi-finals and will take on either Poland or Belgium in tomorrow’s final.
Devon van Oostrum led GB’s triumphant win with a game high 22 points which takes his personal tally for the tournament to 185- the top scorer at the Championships – averaging 26.4 ppg.
Led by a new coaching set up of Douglas Leichner, James Vear and Marc Steutel heading into the tournament, GB could not have wished for a better campaign having won all seven games en route to the final. This is the 7th time, the nation have been represented at the European Under-20 Championships having first participated in 2006.