Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng and Portland Trail Blazers centre Joel Freeland have been named in Great Britain’s initial 22-man squad for August’s EuroBasket qualifiers.

The duo, all part of the team which went out in the first round of last year’s finals in Slovenia, are joined by Byron Mullens of the Philadelphia 76ers, who has pulled out in previous summers and who, like Deng, will become a free agent next week.

There is no place for the injured pair Andrew Lawrence or Will Neighbour while ex-NBA forward Pops Mensah Bonsu, whose contract with Olympiacos has been voided after a medical, is out with his insurance costs understood to have been deemed beyond the budgets of British Basketball since the loss of their funding from UK Sport.

There are also senior call-ups for American-based prospects Teddy Okereafor, Luke Nelson and Ben Mockford.

“I am very excited about the prospects for this team this summer, just as I was before the start of last season and we will be looking to improve on the successes we had,” said GB coach Joe Prunty. “In 2013, some of the younger players developed into critical members of our squad and blended in well with some of the more established veterans. We displayed tremendous growth and look forward to taking the next steps to develop an even stronger squad this summer.

“This year, roster spots will be competitive which will continue to drive everyone to get better and make this year’s squad as respected and appreciated as last season’s.”

It has been confirmed Prunty’s side will play two friendlies against Latvia in Worcester before travelling to face Belgium, and then onward to Tbilisi to take on Georgia and Moldova before their opening qualifier against Iceland in Reykjavik on August 10.

“The fans at the Copper Box last summer helped carry us to a victory over Puerto Rico and I look forward to seeing that same passion and enthusiasm in Worcester,” Prunty added.

“It is a new summer, a new campaign, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us.”

Alberto Lorenzo of Spanish club Estudiantes has been named as Prunty’s new assistant, replacing recently-apppointed Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Guy Goodes.

Guards: Ogo Adegboye, Paul Guede, Kyle Johnson, James Jones, Ben Mockford, Luke Nelson, Teddy Okereafor, Justin Robinson, Devon van Oostrum. Forwards: Kieron Achara, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Luol Deng, Dan Clark, Ali Fraser, Ashley Hamilton, Myles Hesson, Gareth Murray, Ove Soko, Drew Sullivan. Centres: Joel Freeland, Eric Boateng, Byron Mullens

Head Coach: Joe Prunty. Assistant Coaches: Nate Reinking, Alberto Lorenzo, Kwame Graves. Team Manager: Mark Lloyd

Friendlies (all BST)
Sat July 19th Great Britain v Latvia, University Arena, Worcester)
Sun July 20th Great Britain v Latvia, (University Arena, Worcester)
Fri July 25th Belgium v Great Britain, (Anvers) 1900
Sat July 26th Belgium v Great Britain, (Ostend) 1900
Sat Aug 2nd Great Britain v TBC (Tbilisi)
Sun Aug 3rd Great Britain v TBC (Tbilisi)
Mon Aug 4th Great Britain v TBC (Tbilisi)

EUROBASKET 2015 Qualifiers
Sun Aug 10th Iceland v Great Britain, (Laugardalshöll Arena, Reykjavik)
Wed Aug 13th Great Britain v Bosnia-Herzegovina, (Copper Box, London) 1930
Wed Aug 20th Great Britain v Iceland, (Copper Box, London)
Sun Aug 24th Bosnia-Herzegovina v Great Britain, (Dvorana “Mirza Delibasic”, Sarajevo) 1900

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