Robert Archibald has backed fellow Scot Kieron Achara to join him on Great Britain’s Olympic basketball team.

Achara faces a fight to win back his place on the final 12-man roster after missing out on last summer’s EuroBasket finals as training camp in Houston continues.

But Archibald, who is retiring after London, says an impressive year in the Spanish League will boost the hopes of the Stirling-born forward.

“He had a really solid year, played well,” said the former Dunfermline centre. “But there are a tonne of big guys coming into camp so you don’t know how many will be on the final roster. But knowing Kieron, he’ll come in with a great attitude every day, work hard. And when you do that, you can’t feel bad if you miss out.”

Fears have been raised over the availability of Detroit Pistons Ben Gordon for the Olympics after GB team officials admitted they are not sure when he will report to camp. The London-born NBA guard previously withdrew from the squad in 2010 and 2011.

He has now effectively been given a week to show up.

“Ben Gordon is continuing his training in Detroit and has not yet joined the GB squad this summer. His situation will be reassessed in a week’s time when we will be in a position to comment further.”

But with less than a week until their opening friendly of the summer, against Nigeria in Houston, Archibald believes it’s vital that everyone hits the ground running.

“I think we can do well,” he claimed. “I’m optimistic. But you hope that everyone understands coming into camp that we’re going to have to have a really high level of concentration and focus every day if we want to match the top teams.”

Meanwhile British Basketball officials are close to agreeing an insurance deal for Luol Deng.

The Chicago Bulls forward has been given extra time to rest his wrist injury and will not feature against Nigeria, or in next week’s friendlies against Lithuania and Russia.

He is expected to return to action against France in Orleans on July 7.

Officials have confirmed that Mersey Tigers forward Myles Hesson has been called in to replace Nick George who suffered a thigh strain in the team’s first practice session.


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