HESSON HEADS GB RETURNEES

Tony Garbelotto has named his first squad as Great Britain coach for the World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Estonia.
The 15-man group includes nine of the dozen that featured at September’s EuroBasket finals but also sees the return of a number of players to the fold including Myles Hesson, Ovie Soko and a fit-again Carl Wheatle.

There is also the addition of Hungarian-based guard Tarik Phillip, who qualifies through UK-born parents.

“I am keen to get started on the new era for British Basketball,” said Garbelotto. “This promises to be an exciting few days working with some very talented players, which will showcase the increasing depth within the British game.”

As expected, Joel Freeland has not made himself available with the ex-NBA centre – who is currently without a club – understood to have not responded to approaches from British Basketball Federation officials.

Ryan Richards, Ogo Adegboye and Justin Robinson – along with recent regular Ben Mockford – are surprise absentees while Malaga guard Mo Soluade has not been released by his club amid the ongoing standoff between the Euroleague and FIBA over international windows.

“We have been trying hard to get him released but it hasn’t happened,” Garbelotto admitted.

GB open their qualification campaign against the Greeks in Leicester next Friday with the visitors hampered by Olympiacos’ decision not to free their players for the game.

Full squad

GREAT BRITAIN TEAM FOR OPENING FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Kieron Achara Forward Glasgow Rocks
Eric Boateng Centre Saint Vallier Basket Drome (FRA)
Dan Clark Forward Gipuzkoa Basket (ESP)
Robert Gilchrist Forward Unattached
Myles Hesson Forward Unattached
Kofi Josephs Guard Glasgow Rocks
Andrew Lawrence Guard Sigal Prishtina (KOS)
Gareth Murray Forward Glasgow Rocks
Luke Nelson Guard Real Betis Energia Plus (ESP)
Teddy Okereafor Guard GS Kymis (GRE)
Gabe Olaseni Centre Montakit Fuenlabrada (ESP)
Tarik Phillip Guard Szolnoki Olajbanyasz KK (HUN)
Will Saunders Forward Cambados CIdade Europea Do Vino (ESP)
Ovie Soko Forward UCAM Murcia (ESP)
Carl Wheatle Forward Angelico Biella (ITA)
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