Jo Leedham and Temi Fagbenle return to Great Britain’s squad for November’s opening EuroBasket Women qualifiers.

The 20-strong initial roster also includes their fellow Olympian Stef Collins, Chantelle Handy, Azania Stewart, Rachael Vanderwal, and Dominique Allen but there is no place for the injured Janice Monakana or Leicester forward Erin McGarrachan.

The group will meet in Manchester ahead of the visit of Israel to the National Basketball Performance Centre on Saturday November 11.

Britain then travel to northern Greece where they will face their first away game at the 4,000-capacity Kozani Arena on Wednesday November 15.

“I trust this group of players to form the best team to achieve the big challenge of qualifying for FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019,” said head coach Chema Buceta.

“After working hard in May and June to grow as a team, we will now concentrate on preparing for these games against Israel and Greece.”

“I’m sure we can get a good crowd in Manchester on November 11th to support the team.”

Dominique Allen Manchester Mystics
Jennifer Ashton Sheffield Hatters
Mollie Campbell Leicester Riders
Stefanie Collins Cardiff Met Archers
Melita Emanuel-Carr CABC (FRA)
Temi Fagbenle CCC Polkowice (POL)
Christina Gaskin BA London Lions
Chantelle Handy Team Northumbria
Georgia Jones Manchester Mystics
Shequila Joseph Fassi Albino (ITA)
Jo Leedham-Warner Villeneuve D’Ascq  (FRA)
Nicolette Lyew Fong Quee Durham Palatinates
Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby Durham Palatinates
Siobhan Prior Nottingham Wildcats
Hannah Shaw Nottingham Wildcats
Eilidh Simpson Cardiff Met Archers
Azania Stewart TTT Riga (LAT)
Hannah Sunley-Paisley St-Paul Reze (FRA)
Jamila Thompson Leicester Riders
Rachael Vanderwal Ferrol (ESP)

Meanwhile Stef Collins is to become the British Basketball’s Duty of Care Guardian, who will be responsible for ensuring that players and staff are looked after properly as they compete for their country.

Collins, who is already on the governing body’s board of directors, will lead the process to give all those involved a voice in the programme, which expanded in 2017 to take overall responsibility for junior teams from U16s level.

The move follows a series of scandals over player welfare in other sports with player committees or representatives set up to provide an opportunity to put views across, while an independent process for consultation and whistleblowing will be established.

“I look forward to taking on the responsibilities within this role,” the Cardiff player-coach said. “As a player myself, I am determined to make sure that we look after our players and give them a chance to speak up.

“Ensuring that we understand the many diverse backgrounds of our players and staff is very important to me. Our policy reflects that priority and we can deliver on this.”

Pic: Mansoor Ahmed

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