GB’s EuroBasket opponents

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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..

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Historic Promotion for GB Under 20’s

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.

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Anderson using Rio as inspiration

Jamell Anderson has set his sights on the 2016 Olympics in Rio in order to motivate himself to achieve his potential.

“Setting a goal like that will definitely ensure I train as hard as possible and live up to the standard I aspire to play at,” said Anderson.

The 22 year-old is enjoying his time with the Leicester Riders having recently won the BBL Cup; contributing a 15 point haul to the occasion which he defines as his ‘best moment to date’.

“Words cannot describe (how I felt at the buzzer), I had goosebumps, butterflies and tears almost all at once!”

Jamell reflects on his emotions following the Riders’ BBL Cup success.

The Nottingham-born youngster was first given an opportunity in the BBL by Tim Lewis with the Essex Pirates and Anderson would stay at the Southend-based club for two seasons.  The former GB under 20 international improved considerably in the second year and caught the eye of Rob Paternostro, who snapped up Anderson for the Riders when Essex folded.

The 6’6″ forward is now in his second season with Leicester and was full of praise for Paternostro, who led the Riders to their first piece of silverware in over a decade with the Cup win in January.

“I’ve got so much respect for Rob (Paternostro)! He’s definitely one of the best coaches I’ve had!” insisted Anderson.

The Brit averages an impressive 52% from the field whilst contributing 4.1 points per game off the bench. Anderson’s best game of the season came when it mattered most, with a perfect shooting display in the Cup Final while he also registered double figures in the league for the first time this season against Surrey Heat.

Having already claimed the BBL Cup, Leicester are second in the league and also in the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy. Talks of a ‘clean sweep’ will increase as the season progresses especially seeing as their main rivals Newcastle achieved the feat last season. However, Anderson doesn’t want to be drawn into the talk of winning all four trophies as Leicester focus on the job in hand.

“I think it’s best to talk about the ‘clean sweep’ when you have done it. We want to win every game possible and if that means a ‘clean sweep’ then so be it,” Anderson added.

As well as featuring for the Riders, Anderson also competes for Loughborough University and fits in training around his studies. Leicester were delighted Anderson put pen to paper on a three-year deal and the youngster is grateful to the club:

“I recieve great support from Loughborough University and Leicester Riders and its really what any player could ask for: a ball, a hoop, a gym and a place to study- happy days!”

It would be a dream come true for Anderson to represent GB at the next Olympics and providing they qualify, the goal is not unrealistic as Anderson begins to show glimpses of his potential in a successful Riders side. Ex-Pirates and GB Under 20 team-mate Myles Hesson was selected for the Olympics Training Camp last summer which will only provide more motivation for Anderson to reach his target.