EuroBasket Women 2019 has finally heralded the legacy of London 2012.

Experience gained in the ultimate cauldron of the Olympics. Bonds. Ideas. Experience.

The tough insights gained from Tom Maher. The bright enthusiasm of Damian Jennings. The unity forged in adversity under Peter Buckle. Then the sense of shared purpose sculpted under Chema Buceta.

One Great Britain women’s team, some revolving pieces, eventually an admirable common culture. The bedrock of the run to the final four of these European Championships which might yet be a last two if the current dynamic dozen can bypass France in Belgrade tonight.

For the elder players who gamely persisted and kept their faith in the wake of disappointment seven years ago, this is a reward.

“Much better,” laughs Temi Fagbenle. “We didn’t win a game at the Olympics. It’s always more fun to win.”

But what will the residual impact be of this run on the core group that may still be around in 2026 – the year of the Los Angeles Olympics?

Four of the current roster – Karlie Samuelson, Janice Monakana, Cheridene Green and Mollie Campbell – are under 25 years of age, with Savannah Wilkinson and Kennedy Leonard, the late cuts, similarly youthful.

They talk much about the GB Way – never backing down, playing with purpose, defence en masse.

While the exit of what will now surely be regarded as a golden generation – Jo Leedham, Rachael Vanderwal, Stef Collins, even Chantelle Handy – is now thankfully on ice, the groundwork has been laid for a smooth passing of the torch.

“They’re leaving a legacy,” says Monakana, who has rebounded from an arduous knee surgery a year ago to steal a role here. “They make sure that we know the legacy of GB.

“Being around them, I just know it will be something that when they’re gone, it will be there. The younger generation will remember their legacy and make sure we keep it at that level.”

“To be surrounded by such great players who push me every day is a great feeling,” adds Green, one of the revelations in this run on her maiden senior campaign.

“It means a lot to me. This a great experience to be here. The first win we got, I was so happy. The energy we got was so contagious and it’s great.”

The L-Word was over-used and under-valued in the wake of 2012. Taking part, we have learnt, cannot guarantee a legacy. Payback comes with producing talent, good systems and attention to excellence.

Role models, of the kind brought into the spotlight here, are invaluable. Especially when the low profile of basketball – especially of the female flavour – means those who are well-suited to the job are still not easily found by the masses.

This delightfully surprising run will not blow British hoops into the stratosphere.

But, as one of the group who play domestically in the invisible world of the WBBL, Monakana hopes there will be a ripple effect.

“I think it will help, people looking at what we’re doing here, and just respecting that there are so many talented women’s players in England and around GB.

“Coming here, doing this every day, isn’t just for myself. It’s for other females to see that they can be here and that they can do it. There are no barriers for gender.”

The men fare little better in the recognition stakes, of course. But some. Equality is not galloping in on Monday, even if GB were to win the whole damn Euro thing.

Rome, you’ll remember, took centuries to build.

“Women’s basketball is always seen as less than,” observes Green. “When the NBA season was over, people are saying ‘we’ve nothing to watch now’. They forget the WNBA season is still going on.

“Women’s basketball is looked down upon but everyone has to remember, we’re all playing the same sport. We’re all equal. It’s all the same.”

Of course, internationally now, the girls rule. Lottery funding, that elixir, has only been gifted to GB’s female torchbearers. Their cause has been proven beyond doubt. The boys, with some catching up to do.

There will be an Olympic qualification tournament to target next February. 10 from 14. Decent odds, if still another gargantuan challenge.

Post-2020, a probable changing of the guard. Such things inevitably occur.

Because of these past years, and this past fortnight, it will be a transition but not a total reboot.

“It’s exciting because I’m probably going to play with a lot of my old team-mates from Under-18s and Under-20s,” Green declares. “That’s definitely exciting.

“I’m from a younger generation playing with an older group who have been here for a while. I can learn from them so when the younger generation comes through, I can pass on whatever I’ve learnt to create the culture.

“Because that’s been really successful.”

Photo: MAP

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