british_basketball old logo 568Orlan Jackman is determined to bounce back stronger after being overlooked in Great Britain’s roster for the upcoming EuroBasket qualifiers.

The 26-year-old was part of the preliminary squad ahead of last year’s EuroBasket, but has missed out altogether this time around with head coach Joe Prunty still slated to bring NBA players Luol Deng and Byron Mullens to camp next week.

Jackman told MVP: “I’m disappointed that I didn’t make the 22 and this will make me train harder to become a better player. For now, I’m going to support Team GB and hopefully they win the games and we qualify for EuroBasket 2015.

The 6’7” forward has decided to remain in Germany next season after extending his contract with the NOMA Iserlohn Kangaroos. Jackman was a key figure in helping his side gain promotion to the Pro-B division, playing alongside ex-Mersey forward Gael Hulsen.

“Playing in Iserlohn has been great for my development,” stated Jackman. “I learned a lot about myself and got to be a major part in a Championship winning team. I was also the Player of the Year among other personal accolades.”

Jackman led the team in scoring with 17.9 points per game whilst pulling down an average of 8.9 boards and he admitted to being impressed by a number of aspects in his first professional season overseas.

“In Germany, I saw a passion that is only matched by when GB play at home. Also, the coaching is outstanding, they take note of what they are doing on offence, and more importantly, know your team’s weaknesses and tries to exploit it. I would say the BBL has more talented individuals, but that’s it.”

UK fans were given a reminder of Jackman’s talent at the recent Hoopsfix All-Star Classic where the London-born man netted 31 points in a confident display.

And it was a telling sign of a player growing in self-belief.

“I’ve played basketball for a long time and picked up many things from people along the years. Confidence was something that I didn’t have at the start, but when my skill set began showing itself more and more, I became confident in my ability of what I can and cannot do. I was told I need to show that as I play. In this sport, one of the best ways to test skill is by comparison, either to the player you’re playing against or to how you once were.

“It was great to see how guys have improved and that the younger generation are as hungry for it as we were when we were growing up.

Jackman made his professional debut in the BBL in the 2012/13 season with the London Lions, but like many others, he opted to broaden his horizons with an overseas venture in order to aid his development.

The disappointment is inevitable, but the 26-year-old knows too well that he cannot afford to dwell on the setback.

“Missing out last year showed me that I wasn’t ready, despite as much as I thought I was. I had to go back to the lab (basketball gym) and figure something out. I know my decision making isn’t the best, but it’s getting better from month to month as is my ball handling once I keep the amount of dribbles down.”

The hard work begins again for Jackman and the chance to fine-tune his skills in a stronger league next season may be key in finally knocking down the GB door.

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