Great Britain legend Andy Betts has confirmed his retirement from international basketball in order to spend more time with his family.

The Leicestershire-born centre debuted for England in 1996 against Slovakia and went on to collect 39 England caps, averaging 11 points per game. He came into his own for the 2001 EuroBasket where England reached the semi final round of the tournament and eventually finished one win behind the Latvians who ultimately placed eighth in the competition.

Betts played in all nine England games, averaging 11.6 points and 9.3 rebounds. He also recorded his career-high rebounding record of 17 in England’s 59-52 victory over Hungary.

His career-high scoring performance occurred in November 2003 where he scored 31 points as England won 87-74 against the Czech Republic in a EuroBasket semi final round game.

The former Charlotte Hornets draft pick, who is currently playing in Ukraine, 
Betts first donned a GB vest in 2007 in a EuroBasket test game versus Georgia. From there he racked up 23 caps from 12 test games and 11 competitive games, of which he started 18 and averaged a strong 10 points per game. 
Betts was a vital part of the GB team that successfully achieved promotion in 2007 to EuroBasket Division A following a 6-0 game record. His highest scoring game for GB, where he banked 17 points, was in their 110-78 victory over Albania.

In 2008 GB qualified for the EuroBasket finals the following year in Poland, where Betts played in two of their three losses, averaging 10 points in what was to be his last games for GB.

“My decision to retire is based on my wish to spend time with my family. I am going to be 34 in May and my recent contracts have meant I have been playing away from my family and the summer is my time to be with my three children,” he said.

“I think it’s time to let the younger guys have their turn with GB and I think I leave the team in the best situation it has ever been in with the best talent and also the most professional organisation the country has ever seen.
“Playing for England and GB has given me so many good memories and has made me so proud. “All international athletes will tell you there is no better feeling than pulling on your countries shirt and hearing your national anthem. I have played for my country for 13 years and loved every minute of it.”

Betts, from Leicestershire, believes his GB team-mates can medal at EuroBasket 2011.

“Many people will think I’m crazy for saying that but last time at the EuroBasket finals we had the toughest possible group and we didn’t have Luol [Deng]. If Ben Gordon does play this summer it will make our starting 5 as strong as any team there.”

GB Head Coach, Chris Finch paid tribute to Betts.

Finch will have to do without Betts (

“It’s players like Andy that should make up every country’s national yeams. His sacrifice, commitment, leadership and of course performance has been inspirational for our programme. I cannot personally thank him enough for all he has given to Great Britain and England.

“We completely understand and respect his decision to step away from the international game and spend this time with his family. Life presents you with limited opportunities and time to share with your loved ones and given our line of work it becomes a continual balancing act.

“As such, it’s hard to feel anything but happiness for Andy and his family. We shall miss him greatly, but like all of the players that I have had the pleasure of working with since the inception of the GB programme in 2006, he will always remain part of our family too.”

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