SEARCH FOR PRUNTY SUCCESSOR UNDER WAY

Glasgow Rocks coach Tony Garbelotto has emerged as the early favourite to lead Great Britain into the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup.

The move comes after British Basketball officials confirmed they intend to appoint a part-time playcaller to take over in September.

It is understood the Englishman, who signed a two-year deal at the Emirates Arena last month, has a clause in his contract allowing him to combine both roles if he lands the post.

With a new system of international windows coming in from next season, there was never a prospect of an extension for current GB coach Joe Prunty, the number two at the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, who will depart after this summer’s EuroBasket.

But although British Basketball will consider applications when job is advertised this week, the search committee is already thought to have identified a small number of targets with Garbelotto on their list.

“We would hope to be able to interview and appoint so they are around for the friendly game on August 19 and then EuroBasket itself, depending on their availability,” said British Basketball chief executive Lisa Wainwright. “That would of benefit to them and the players.”

Privately, Prunty had expressed an interest in continuing in a post he has held since 2013 with a proposal that the four qualifiers held during the NBA season could be overseen by an assistant coach in his absence.

But the idea was rejected as unworkable, paving the way for a first British-based coach in charge of GB.

“Logically he can’t, as much as we’d want that to happen, as much as we think he’s a great coach,” Wainwright admitted. “It was a sign of his passion and his commitment.”

The committee that will appoint Prunty’s successor will be led by ex-GB Women’s coach Mark Clark and also includes former Basketball England CEO Keith Mair.

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