New Great Britain head coach Joe Prunty has named his initial 17-strong squad for this summer’s EuroBasket campaign with several new faces drafted in ahead of training camp and a number of notable absentees, including Joel Freeland and Luol Deng.
However, the line-up has been boosted by the inclusion of Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who was a major doubt, and by long-time captain Drew Sullivan, who has reversed an earlier decision to take the summer off, taking the total to seven returnees from the 2012 Olympic team.
And there are first call-ups into the senior for Danish-based centre Liam Potter and London Lions’ swingman Orlan Jackman, as well as places for uncapped pair Myles Hesson and Alex Marcotullio who have both previously been named in GB squads under previous coach Chris Finch.
Deng told MVP of his absence in February and any change of heart has been ruled out, it is understood, by further treatment for a spinal issue.
However Freeland, as widely anticipated, is to focus on preparing for his next campaign with the Portland Trailblazers.
“It’s a tough decision for me, because I have been with GB for everything up to this moment,” the forward said. “I remain fully committed and very motivated to continue to be a part of the National Team and continue to help build the programme in an effort to take it as far as we possibly can.
“At this time, it’s crucial that I remain with my NBA work, as it is a pretty pivotal part of my career.”
Prunty will get seven friendlies to prepare for Slovenia with a trip to Crete to take on Greece on August 18 added to the slate.
“I’m excited to be working with both the veteran GB players and the new up and coming talent this summer,” the American said. “Myself and my coaching team are ready for the challenge ahead and committed to getting the best out of the squad to make the GB family and fans proud.”
Notable omissions include Ryan Richards, who has not returned to the GB fold after quitting last year, and Ali Fraser who had been tipped for a call-up.
GB senior men’s squad
|Matthew Bryan-Amaning||Radnicki Kragujevac, Serbia|
|Myles Hesson||LTI Giessen 46ers, Germany|
|Orlan Jackman||London Lions, England|
|Kyle Johnson||Sutor Montegranaro, Italy|
|Dzaflo Larkai||Sendai 89ers, Japan|
|Pops Mensah – Bonsu||Olimpia Milano, Italy|
|Liam Potter||Team FOG Naestved, Denmark|
|Justin Robinson||BC Kyiv , Ukraine|
|Andrew Sullivan||Leicester Riders, England|
|Devon Van Oostrum||Laboral Kutxa , Spain|
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