pops_v_russia_olympicsGreat Britain’s plans for EuroBasket have suffered another huge blow after former NBA player Pops Mensah-Bonsu pulled out.

The Londoner, currently at a NBA Africa camp in Ghana, had been expected to report next week after being given dispensation to arrive late.

However the Milano forward confirmed on Twitter that he has joined Luol Deng and Joel Freeland on the list of absentees.

He said: “Hurts my heart that I am not playing but I have my reasons! Trust me.”

Mensah-Bonsu, who has been linked with a move to Turkey next season, averaged 11.5 points and 7.2 rebounds at last summer’s Olympics.

Meanwhile Glasgow Rocks forward Gareth Murray has been told that he has a genuine shot at earning his Great Britain debut against Puerto Rico in London on Sunday – and making the squad for next month’s EuroBasket finals.

The Scotland captain was given a late call-up by new GB head coach Joe Prunty, who is overseeing the early part of preparations at The FA’s training centre in Staffordshire.

With several big-name absentees, there are a number of spots up for grabs for the European campaign.

And Prunty believes Murray has the ability to force his way into the reckoning after watching him closely in his first few practices.

“I really liked the way he played,” the American said.

“He understood how to play the game on offense as well as talking on defence. He shot the ball extremely well. He did numerous things that had me thinking: ‘this guy has a real chance to come in and help this team.’”

Pic: Mansoor Ahmed/BB

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