KieronAchara and MylesHessonjumpforpossessionintheStandardLifeGBMensvictoryoverIsraelatEuroBasket2013.JPG_lowKieron Achara claims British Basketball can survive the blow of losing its Lottery funding and still see Great Britain target a place at the 2016 Olympic Games, despite an attack on their credibility.

Synchronised swimming, water polo and weightlifting also had their financial backing axed as UK Sport vowed to target sports with medal potential in Rio.

British Basketball officials immediately accused the agency of short-termism and pledged to find the money to field NBA All Star Luol Deng in this summer’s European qualifiers.

The move comes amid a bizarre claim from UK Sport’s chief executive Liz Nicholl that suggested the country’s top players serve no purpose in spurring on future generations.

“They are hardly role models if they are not winning,” she told London 24. “They become role models by winning.”

Nicholl’s comments have earned an angry rebuke from Great Britain co-captain Drew Sullivan, who called the idea “disgusting”, adding: “how can any one involved with sport say something so naive is beyond me? Forget funding for a moment. That’s just ignorances!”

Achara has pledged to continue his own development work while insisting that, at international level, the show will go on.

“It will be a longer path without the right funding, though it is still attainable,” said the Stirling-born forward.

“Hopefully outside investors and sponsors could help. It’s a setback for sure but our focus is to develop the sport to compete with the best in the world. Without UK Sport it still has to be possible.”

A pot of £271 million will be shared between 36 Olympic and Paralympic sports with rowing getting the biggest slice at £32m and triathlon receiving the largest increase.

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