All eyes have been keenly focused on the GB men’s training and selection camps over the last few weeks, as Haj Bhania and Steve Caine, GB Men’s Team Coaches, prepared to announce the squad for the forthcoming European Championships in Poland (30 August to 8 September).
Fans of the squad may well have spotted the inclusion of some new and returning players on the teams’ social media posts from these camps.
Scottish dual national George Bates, who played for the Scotland U23s for three consecutive years in the Celtic Cup, makes the GB squad for his second European Championships after a phenomenal season being the top scorer in the Spanish league.
Bates will look to add another gold to his collection at the Europeans, with hopes of building on his performances at last year’s World Championships. Bates netted 19 points in 20 minutes in one game before finishing joint top scorer in the final against USA with 17 points.
George spoke about his selection, saying:
“It’s always a great honour to be selected to represent your country, I can’t wait to get going and firstly qualify for Tokyo and then look to bring back another gold.”
Elsewhere, GB’s number 11 Phil Pratt will once again Captain the squad as they focus on the European Championships and qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Five-time Paralympian, Terry Bywater will notch up his tenth European Championships appearance in Poland.
He is joined by fellow legends of the GB line-up including Liverpool’s Abdi Jama (3 x Paralympics/6 x Europeans), World Championships superstar Simon Brown (2 x Paralympics/4 x Europeans) and Ealing’s Gaz Choudhry (2 x Paralympics/4 x Europeans).
Included in the squad line up are the World Championship power forward Lee Manning, MVP Gregg Warburton, and starting five regular Harry Brown.
Welcomed back to the GB line up is Barnsley man and two-time Paralympian Ian Sagar, the 3.0 player having taken some time away from the team following the Rio Paralympics dramatic Bronze medal win. During his break from the team Sagar, who played for Italian side Braintea84, took time to write a biography about his wheelchair basketball journey.
Making his international senior team debut is junior World Champion, Ben Fox. The Swindon player has made an impressive recovery after taking time out of the programme in 2018 for major surgery – demonstrating the remarkable grit of this young player and an impressive return to form.
Completing the squad is 2.0 player and Rio Paralympian Kyle Marsh.
Commenting on his squad selection and looking towards the August European Championships, GB Head Coach Haj Bhania OBE commented:
“As a team we are in a very good place. The last year has been incredible for the GB team and demonstrated what we are capable of, however by no means has it allowed us to sit still. We are only as good as our next game, and as a squad we fundamentally understand this. This team has been relentless in their determination to push forwards and improve as individuals but also as a team. In Hamburg we laid bare that Championships are won by the team, not just one player.”
|Vest||First name||Surname||Class||2018/19 Club||Hometown|
|4||Gaz||CHOUDHRY||4.0||BSR AMIAB Albacete||Ealing|
|6||Kyle||MARSH||2.0||BSR AMIAB Albacete||Wolverhampton|
|11||Phil||PRATT (c)||3.0||Mideba Extremadura||Cardiff|
|14||Lee||MANNING||4.5||BSR AMIAB Albacete||Peterborough|
Coverage of George’s progress throughout the tournament will be posted on all of basketballscotland’s digital channels