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Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011

Andy Betts retires from international basketball

Andy Betts
Betts began his international career more than 14 years ago

Veteran centre Andy Betts has retired from international basketball aged 33.

Having made his debut for England in 1996, Betts was a vital part of the Great Britain team promoted in 2007 to EuroBasket Division A.

He said: "I leave the team in the best situation it has ever been in with the best talent and the most professional organisation the country has seen."

The 7ft 1in Betts, who will continue to play at club level, racked up 23 GB caps in all, alongside 39 for England.

The former Leicester Riders star, who was made an ambassador for the club last year, now plays for Ukrainian outfit Budivelnik Kiev.

During his career, he has played for some of the top clubs in Greece, Spain and Italy including Teamsystem Bologna, Joventut Badalona, Aris Salonica, AEK Athens and Real Madrid, winning national championship medals with the last two.

He added: "My decision to retire is based on my wish to spend time with my family. I think it's time to let the younger guys have their turn with GB.

"I think I have a few good years left at the top level yet. As a veteran having the summers to relax and recuperate are a necessity if I am to continue playing."

I have played for my country for 13 years and loved every minute of it

Andy Betts

His best scoring performance was in 2003 where he scored 31 points as England beat the Czech Republic in a EuroBasket qualifying round game.

"Playing for England and GB has given me so many good memories and has made me so proud," he said. I have played for my country for 13 years and loved every minute of it."

GB head coach Chris Finch said: "It's players like Andy that should make up every country's national teams. His sacrifice, commitment, leadership and of course performance has been inspirational for our programme.

"We completely understand and respect his decision to step away from the international game and spend this time with his family. We shall miss him greatly, but he will always remain part of our family too."


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see also
Betts becomes Riders' ambassador
26 Aug 10 |  Basketball
Deng backs improved Great Britain
31 Aug 10 |  Basketball

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