British Basketball chiefs have defended their appointment policy after recruiting another overseas coach.
Dutchman Frans Griffioen has been named as Damian Jennings’ replacement in charge of the Great Britain Under-20 women’s team following the Englishman’s recent elevation into the senior staff.
Griffioen, who is expected to be joined by his assistant Ronald van der Oord, has been at the helm of the Netherlands for the last three years and the side finished tenth in the 2011 Division A Under-20 FIBA Europe championship, two places below GB.
However with Canadian Dave Smart recently handed the coaching job with the Under-20 men’s team in succession to Tim Lewis, the performance body will face inevitable claims that an opportunity to give a young British coach valuable experience has been lost.
“The Under-20s have always been our training ground for everyone: coaches, physios, everything that goes with the programme,” said performance director Chris Spice.
“But once we got past Damian and Tim who took senior roles this year, it was about finding the best people. Unfortunately we didn’t think they were in this country right now. And we’ve got a lot of work to do to get coaches up to the standard that we want.”
It is understood that Griffioen was one of two candidates interviewed for the part-time role and Spice believes he is the right appointment.
“Philosophically, he understood that the cultures were different. He has his own coaching style obviously but we want someone who s going to embrace the philosophy we have here already, the real plus for us is that the Under 20 women have been pretty much following the process and style of the senior women. And they’ve made progress as a result. We wanted to make sure someone would come in and embrace it.”
Griffioen is expected to arrive in July ahead of the team’s training camp. This year’s Europeans are in Debrecen, Hungary, starting on August 16.
“I am excited by the challenge of coaching GB and continuing the great work the team put in when they finished eighth in Division A of the European Championships 2011,” he said.
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