Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan has announced his international retirement.

The country’s most-capped player, the Leicester Riders forward made his 100th appearance against New Zealand in a friendly last summer after featuring in every campaign since the GB programme was resurrected in 2006.

Previously, he was part of the England team that took bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne but was a key figure on and off the court as the British side moved up the rankings to appear in two EuroBasket finals before appearing at the 2012 Olympics in his hometown.

Now 36, he will opt out of this summer’s EuroBasket qualifiers in order to spend more time with his family at a point when the long-term focus is qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

“This was a massively tough decision and something that I went back and forth on, for quite a while,” he said.

“I’m going to miss representing my country and wearing the Great Britain vest. I’ll miss going out and playing with the guys that I’ve been with for over a decade. You build relationships with them when you’re in the trenches together and it’s going to be tough to see them playing when I’m not in the locker room, on the bench or in warmups.”

“But I’ve enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I want the national team to be successful. I want them to be a team that we can be proud of.”

But long-time GB coach Chris Finch claims his legacy to basketball in the UK will endure.

“For me, and the entire Olympic Programme staff, Andrew will forever be remembered as the embodiment of the dedication, sacrifice and performance that it takes to compete at the highest levels and for one’s country,” Finch said.

“Drew was there on day one, prior to all the trappings bestowed on us by the British Olympic Association.

“He was there for our historic win over China to end the 2012 campaign. Most significantly he was there for every day in between. A leader by example, a fighter by nature and a willing teammate by choice it’s not so much about any single game or basket or play Drew made that makes him one Great Britain’s best.

“It’s his consistency of effort and excellence as a leading like get for the British game both abroad and perhaps most importantly at home that makes him special.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain coach Andreas Kapoulas has targeted a top-three finish at the European Under-20 Championships, which start in Greece on Friday.

Fraser Malcolm is set to go straight into action for the opener against Albania after his late-call up with GB bidding to reach the quarter-finals out of a group that also includes the hosts, along with the Netherlands, Kosovo and Ireland.

“We are here to compete,” said Kapoulas. “We want to secure one of the top three spots to return to Division A and that is our ultimate goal.

“Preparation has been about the process and getting better every day. Now it’s about performance. Now it’s about everything we have done over the past couple of weeks coming together and performing on the court to the maximum of our ability.”



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