Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Deng included in strong GB squad
Luol Deng drives for Chicago in the NBA play-offs
Deng has been a force for the Bulls in the play-offs
Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng is one of three NBA players called up by Great Britain coach Chris Finch for the team's summer programme.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu of Dallas and Golden State's Kelenna Azubuike are the other NBA-based players in the 24-man squad.

The squad assembles in Florida in July to prepare for four crucial European qualifiers in August and September.

Finch has recalled 11 of last summer's team to a squad that is probably the strongest ever assembled in Britain.

"Definitely the loyalty factor was at work there," said Finch. "All 11 of them won't be on the final squad, but those guys made the commitment last year.

"We have to build commitment into the programme."

Finch describes the squad's potential as "a tantalising thought - we have some top talent. It's important that talent turns up, though."

Azubuike, 23, was born in London and indicated to Finch only last weekend that he wished to be included.

The Golden State player was visited two weeks ago by GB assistant coach Tony Garbelotto in a bid to secure his involvement.

Azubuike has yet to acquire a British passport, but has been selected as a wild card by Finch on the assumption that he will have one by the time the qualifiers begin.

Deng starred on Monday as the Bulls secured a 4-0 whitewash over reigning NBA champions Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference first-round series.

Four of the players, including captain Andrew Sullivan, play in Spain's ACB League, rated the best in Europe.

Only six members of the squad played in the BBL last season.

Finch will bring the squad back from Florida in early August for a series of seven warm-up internationals in France, Croatia and London before the opening qualifier against Slovakia in Newcastle on 21 August.

Great Britain will probably need to win all four of their matches in order to qualify from Group B for a two-leg promotion play-off tie in mid-September.

In all, the team are scheduled to play 13 internationals including the other qualifying ties against Netherland, Albania and Belarus.


Great Britain squad:

Kieron Achara (Duquesne Uni, USA), Robert Archibald, Andrew Betts, Andrew Sullivan (all Badalona, Spain), Mike Bernard (Teramo, Italy), Eric Boateng (Arizona State Uni, USA), Flinder Boyd (Rosalia, Spain), Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Jermayne Forbes (Dombovar, Hungary), Joel Freeland (Gran Canaria, Spain), Nick George (Imola, Italy), Steven Hansell (Evreux, France), Chris Haslam (Kunin, Czech Rep), Roger Huggins (Charleroi, Belgium), Tarick Johnson (London United), Julius Joseph (Scottish Rocks), Michael Martin (Guildford), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (Dallas Mavericks), Richard Midgley (unattached), Nate Reinking (Bree, Belgium), Chris Sanders (Penne, Italy), Alto Virgil (Chester), Yorick Williams (Leicester), Kelenna Azubuike (Golden State Warriors).

RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us