ben_gordon_passport_568New Great Britain coach Joe Prunty has begun to contact prospective recruits for his first squad this summer, despite delays in finalising his bench staff for EuroBasket.

However MVP can reveal that Charlotte Bobcats pair Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens are among those on Prunty’s long-list for Slovenia.

The surprise move – which is likely to prove unpopular with the existing contingent – comes a year after both declined selection for the Olympic Games despite a lengthy courtship from British Basketball officials.

joe_pruntyTheir absence is understood to have weighed negatively in UK Sport’s original decision to pull funding from the national teams, with the NBA duo’s no-show cited as evidence of a lack of commitment from leading players.

It is unknown whether either will commit to making their debut for GB in 2013.

Prunty (pictured right), who was let go by the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of their season, is likely to retain former GB Under-20 coach Tim Lewis as the lone returnee on the coaching staff.

Mark Lloyd will be the team manager, responsible for equipment and logistics, replacing highly-respected predecessor Phil Waghorn who has not been retained by the new performance regime.

Former England coach turned performance psychologist, Bill Beswick, will work with the senior men across their summer campaign. Beswick has worked in a similar role for England Rugby, the England football team and high profile sides including Manchester United Football Club.

Calvin Morris has been appointed as the Strength and Conditioning Coach following his work at England Rugby and with the UK Athletics programme and their Olympic athletes. Mark Gillett returns to his post as Head of Science and Medicine while Fraser McKinney also comes back to the team as Physiotherapist.

The side will open training camp in Staffordshire on August 6 with their opening friendly against Puerto Rico in London expected to take place just five days later.


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