GB Basketball Federation Faces Backlash Over GB Men's EuroBasket Results

GB Basketball Federation Faces Backlash Over GB Men's EuroBasket Results

Team GB's men have had a very difficult start to this year's EuroBasket, losing in back-to-back blowout fixtures against Ukraine (90-61), Croatia (85-65) and most recently Greece (93-77). 

Those big deficits on those scores don't tell the full story. Many may think with such huge losses, that it's a question of talent first and everything else later. But, even through just watching the highlights of each game, Team GB were with the opposition throughout most of the game. So, what's been the problem? 



Many fingers have been pointing to the GB Basketball governing body and rightly so. The EuroBasket hosts the best of the best in the world, not just when it comes to talent level but also with each country's approach to the game. Many countries have had 3 weeks to practice and prepare for this tournament, as they should for such a big competition. Team GB on the other had...3 practices total and no friendly games. 

Despite this, the guys aren't making excuses. "We have to deal with it. No one's making excuses for us, no one's gunna feel bad for us," said Gabe Olaseni following the loss to Croatia. "This is professional sports at the highest level so we have to find a way to make it work."



It's not only at the highest level where the problem is seen. Team GB's junior programme have also suffered with relegations and low placement finishes from the U16s and U18s boys and girls programmes, with the U20 programme being cut before they even got to take the floor. 

As British Basketball fans and players, this lack of an elite sporting environment isn't new territory. Many took to social media following the loss to voice their opinions and frustration. "How many more years are we gonna keep failing our elite athletes? Hiring a coach that can’t be around?" said Chris Mayes, Assistant Basketball Coach at Montana State University. "Zero preparation or even an intent to hold professional standards to promote the elite game? Removal of the U20 program? Why?"

Unfortunately and some may say even more painfully, it's something that we've all become accustomed to and are very tired of. Just think back to when UK Sport cut funding for Basketball in 2014. Some readers may even be able to draw on their own or others experiences at the 'highest level', having to pay substantial amounts of money for experiences that don't at all match what they've paid for. 

Whilst an ever-growing community at the grassroots level continues to provide opportunities, events and engagement in ways that the federations just seem to be unable to do, there is also a frightening lack of a professional approach at what is supposed to be the 'top of the food chain,' which places what feels like a brick wall of a ceiling on how far the game can go.   

Rest assured, this country's love for the game, as players, creators, coaches, analysts and more, has not and will not die. Many will continue to push forward without ever making excuses, hoping that one day, their efforts are matched with that of an environment that allows for those efforts and the efforts of those to come after, to be correctly nurtured. 

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