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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 12:35 UK

GB without star NBA duo for Euros

Luol Deng
Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng will be a big loss for GB

Great Britain will have to cope without NBA star Luol Deng for this summer's European Championships.

And Ben Gordon has asked to be excluded, because he wants to establish himself at the Detroit Pistons.

Chicago Bulls forward Deng, 24, has been declared unfit after failing to recover from a stress fracture in his right tibia sustained in February.

He said: "It's tough not playing. I'm on my way but not there just yet. I've also only just started running."

National coach Chris Finch has named a 17-player squad for the championships and the preceding Game On event, with recalls for Scotland's Robert Archibald and a fully fit Andy Betts. Toronto Raptors' Pops Mensah-Bonsu, from Hackney, is also in.

606: DEBATE

Deng said: "Since I started playing for GB the goal was to get to the highest level we can get to and not being able to play this summer is tough. But that's just life and it's the smart decision for my health, especially if I'm not 100% to help the guys."

Deng will be on the sidelines at the O2 Arena for the four-nation Game On tournament - which also features Turkey, Poland and Israel - from 14-16 August.

Finch will use that event to fine tune his side ahead of EuroBasket.

Finch said: "I know he is gutted and will do whatever he can for the programme, even if it's off court, which is why I'm not surprised to hear that he's pledged to come to Game On At The O2 and lend his support."

Speaking about Gordon, the coach added: "The door is always open for Ben."



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see also
Gordon's NBA move boosts GB hopes
09 Jul 09 |  Basketball
Toney keen to learn from GB stars
04 Jun 09 |  Basketball
Expansion proposal offers GB hope
22 May 09 |  Basketball
Three NBA stars named in GB squad
24 Apr 09 |  Basketball
British basketball back at The O2
27 Mar 09 |  Basketball
Gordon missing from Britain squad
12 Aug 08 |  Basketball


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