Luol Deng and Pops Mensah-Bonsu have criticised the lack of involvement for former players in the British basketball set-up.

The ex-Great Britain internationals, who played together at the 2012 Olympics, amid a career that took both to the NBA, vented their frustration at the lack of progress for the sport in a video chat on Instagram.

Deng, now president of the South Sudan Basketball Federation following his retirement last summer, has staged an annual developmental camp in the UK.

But he revealed meetings with British Basketball chiefs to expand his input came to nothing with the two-time NBA All Star believing a former regime which was drawn from outside hoops lacked a connection to the grassroots.

He said: “My whole thing is, we want British basketball to get better. I don’t even want anything from it, but I really want to give opinions on what direction it should be taking.

“It’s frustrating when you have France doing so well. Other European countries doing so well. Now Canada’s doing so well – and all of them are voicing opinions of former players or people who have come through the ranks or the same background.

“There’s a lot of people we should be vouching for that should be involved with GB basketball because I know their heart would be in the right place. And there’s people that are doing it everyday but they are not being given the resources and opportunities to do it. So I want us to push on that. That’s just my thing with GB.”

Deng’s views mirrors the experience of former GB team-mate Andy Betts who revealed in a recent episode of the MVP Cast that he has never been asked to offer coaching advice to younger British players despite a career that saw him win titles in a number of top European leagues.

And Mensah-Bonsu, now a rising front office executive running the Washington Wizards’ G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, confirmed an even greater snub from a rejection of his application to become a co-opted board member of Basketball England last year.

“I feel it’s my responsibility if the sport is going in the right direction,” he declared. “They sent me an email back saying I wasn’t qualified.”

And he added: “The culture is so fragmented. Everybody is so separate that we can’t come together and help these young kids get to the next level. There’s so much talent there but the resources and the infrastructure is not put in place. And this is England we’re talking about, this isn’t a third world country, this is England and the United Kingdom of Great Britain (sic).

“We’re talking about one of the most developed places on the planet, one of the strongest economies in the world, and you’re telling me we can’t have a bridge or an avenue for young players to play the game and then go live their dream out playing basketball?”

Despite his discontentment, Deng has left the door ajar to some future involvement in the British game.

He declared: “If they come right now, I’ll sit down with them and help them but they have to listen. In order to get better, they have to put the right people into basketball.”

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