NBA star Ben Gordon (188-G-83, college: Connecticut) admits he endured a frustrating time before finally being able to team up with Great Britain.
The Detroit Pistons shooting guard is set to be a key component of coach Chris Finch's national team set-up for London 2012 and the historic game against the USA in Manchester this summer.
British Basketball chiefs have worked doggedly to find a way to get the London-born New York-raised ace into a Great Britain jersey for the last few years.
And some fans, desperate to see another NBA talent playing along side the teams talisman Luol Deng, were beginning to doubt that the day would come after Great Britain went to Eurobaskets 2009 and 2011 without him.
But Gordon who starred with Deng at the Chicago Bulls before switching to Detroit three years ago insists he remains committed to the cause and that it was just a matter of time before he suited up for a competitive game as a Brit.
It was frustrating, said Gordon, 29. I have been involved for a few years but I have had to wait to be able to make the trip over. This summer was all about working to make sure I could be there.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Olympics is the biggest stage and it is great to be involved.
Weve got a very good team and Im looking forward to meeting up with the guys.
Obviously, there will be a lot of good teams at the Olympics but with the players weve got I dont see why we cant go far.
Weve just got to make sure we work hard together and play for each other. Weve just got to go out and try and win as many games as possible.
Gordon has been a prolific NBA scorer from the No2 spot, but, with the point guard position arguably where Great Britain are weakest, he is set to operate more in the number one role.
I think Ill be playing more point, he added. It is different than what I play at Detroit but it should be good fun.
Itll give me the chance to set up the offence as well as do some scoring. So Ill bring that and obviously hard work.
Gordon is thrilled at the prospect of playing alongside Deng again, adding: I played with Lu for years in Chicago so I know all about him. Hes a great defender, one of the best in the league at what he does.
Hes an All Star! It is going to be like old times playing with him again. Quite a few of the others have played in the NBA or have NBA experience so Ive come up against them before and I came over to watch the side play a couple of years ago which was really good.
Weve got a lot of good players and I am really looking forward to playing with them.
Manchester basketball fans will get the opportunity to see Gordon, Deng and Co take on the might of the USA when Great Britain take on the worlds No1 team at the Manchester Arena on July 19.
And the Pistons ace knows it wont be an easy test for Finchs men ahead of the Games.
That is going to be a tough game but it will be exciting, he added.
They are the Dream Team they have so many good players. It makes it difficult to pin-point one as a real threat as you may try and stop one but another one will score.
They have so many athletic players that scoring on them is tough and they will be deadly in transition but well just have to make our shots and, hopefully, the crowd will get behind us. It will be exciting to watch and to play in.
Manchester Giants (BBL) inked 21-year old center Luke Attfield (213-95). The last time (11-12) he played at Bognor Pirates in British EBL3. Attfield missed last season and had one year break from professional basketball. Attfield represented United Kingdom at the European Championships U16 Division B in Strumica (FYR Macedonia) five years ago. His team won Silver and his stats at that event were 4 games: 1.0ppg. Manchester Giants roster for 2016-2017: Yorick Williams Ingus Bankevics Us... [read more]
Manchester Giants (BBL) inked 21-year old center Luke Attfield (213-95). The last time (11-12) he played at Bognor Pirates in British EBL3. Attfield missed last season and had one year break from professional basketball. Attfield represented United Kingdom at the European Championships U16 Division B in Strumica (FYR Macedonia) five years ago. His team won Silver and his stats at that event were 4 games: 1.0ppg.
Avila lands William Hall, ex Glasgow Rocks - 15 hours ago
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Carrefour El Bulevar de Avila (LEB Silver) landed 25-year old British small forward William Hall (201-91, agency: Dynamics Global Management). He played most recently at Glasgow Rocks in British BBL league. In 36 games he averaged 12.7ppg, 7.0rpg and 2.9apg last season. Hall helped them to make it to the semifinals. It was a very successful season in his career as he was selected to Eurobasket.com All-British BBL Honorable Mention. The previous (14-15) season Hall played at Leeds Force (a... [read more]
Carrefour El Bulevar de Avila (LEB Silver) landed 25-year old British small forward William Hall (201-91, agency: Dynamics Global Management). He played most recently at Glasgow Rocks in British BBL league. In 36 games he averaged 12.7ppg, 7.0rpg and 2.9apg last season. Hall helped them to make it to the semifinals. It was a very successful season in his career as he was selected to Eurobasket.com All-British BBL Honorable Mention. The previous (14-15) season Hall played at Leeds Force (also in BBL) where in 27 games he had 14.2ppg, 7.3rpg, 2.6apg and 1.1spg. Hall played in the final of British EBL Division One in 2011. He represented United Kingdom at the European Championships U20 Division B in Sarajevo (Bosnia) five years ago. His stats at that event were 8 games: 2.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.4apg. Hall has played also professionally for other British teams like Sheffield Sharks, Reading Rockets and London Greenhouse Pioneers.
Carrefour El Bulevar de Avila roster for 2016-2017:
The opening weekend of the new season concluded with five games on Sunday evening. Leicester Riders became the first team to record two wins after holding off Worcester Wolves 77-66, while Esh Group Eagles Newcastle started their campaign with an 85-99 victory over Cheshire Phoenix, behind 28 points from Scott Martin (203-G-88, college: Notre Dame, agency: HMS) Plymouth Raiders bounced back from an opening loss on Saturday to defeat Surrey Scorchers 87-63 with all five starters reaching... [read more]
The opening weekend of the new season concluded with five games on Sunday evening.
Leicester Riders became the first team to record two wins after holding off Worcester Wolves 77-66, while Esh Group Eagles Newcastle started their campaign with an 85-99 victory over Cheshire Phoenix, behind 28 points from Scott Martin (203-G-88, college: Notre Dame, agency: HMS)
Plymouth Raiders bounced back from an opening loss on Saturday to defeat Surrey Scorchers 87-63 with all five starters reaching double figures, while Jack Isenbarger netted 28 points to inspire Leeds Force to a 79-58 success over DBL Sharks Sheffield.
Also, Glasgow Rocks claimed their first win after recording a convincing 56-90 success away at Manchester Giants as Neil Watson led five scorers in double figures with 21 points on debut.
BBL Championship Leeds Force 79 (21,38,57) (Isenbarger 28, Marsden 12, Sanders/Matthew 8) DBL Sharks Sheffield 58 (19,33,47) (Poole 14, S Davis 13, Wroblicky 8)
Leeds Force opened their account for the new season with a 79-58 win over DBL Sharks Sheffield, thanks in large to an impressive shooting display from Jack Isenbarger.
The American went 8-of-11 from beyond the arc including a perfect 7/7 in the second half on his way to a 28-point haul.
It was Rob Marsden (200-PF-88, college: Findlay, OH) who made a strong start with eight of his 12 points in the first period as he edged the home side into a narrow advantage.
Two triples from Eddie Matthew pushed Leeds up by nine, but the Sharks levelled at 38-38 early in the second half.
However, Isenbarger began to heat up with a trio of 3-pointers in quick succession to help Leeds establish a 10-point cushion ahead of the final quarter. Two more followed to cap an 8-0 run to put the game beyond doubt.
Isenbarger netted his eighth in the final minute to complete a fine performance on his BBL debut as Leeds start 1-0 in the league.
The defeat sees the Sharks fall to 0-2 in a disappointing start to the campaign. BBL Championship Plymouth Raiders 87 (24,47,66) (Grady 18, Nicholas/Dixon 16) Surrey Scorchers 63 (10,26,43) (Neighbour 25, Ogedengbe 12, Margai/Rollins 6)
Plymouth Raiders bounced back from their opening loss with a comfortable 87-63 victory at home to Surrey Scorchers.
Anton Grady contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Cory Dixon and Donte Nicholas added 16 points apiece with all five starters reaching double figures in the 24-point win.
The Raiders raced out of the blocks and used a 12-0 run to set the tone early in the first and they never looked back. Rhys Carter started the second with a three as the lead continued to be stretched.
Plymouth were up by 21 at the half with three players already in double figures. The visitors kept battling in the second half despite being in foul trouble and kept their opponents from completely running away with the game.
The gap hit 31 points late in the fourth, but the Scorchers closed with an 8-1 run and they now drop to 0-2 despite a game-high of 25 points from Will Neighbour. BBL Championship Leicester Riders 77 (23,39,55) (Clark 20, Bernardini 11, Thomson/Hampton 9) Worcester Wolves 66 (16,42,58) (Kennedy/Huffor 18, Setty 11)
Leicester Riders completed a perfect weekend after seeing off the challenge of Worcester Wolves with a 77-66 success.
Rob Paternostro's side trailed heading into the final quarter, but seized control and held off their opponents with a 10-0 close to the game.
Brandon Clark top scored with 20 points and also handed out seven assists as Riders' depth was evident once again.
A 10-0 run established early control as the Riders were up by 10 on a three from Eric Robertson, but the visitors hit back strongly in the second with a 23-3 run as Wolves made a 9-of-15 start from downtown to lead 32-42.
Danny Huffor moved to 16 points, but the Riders finished the half with the final seven points with Marek Klaasen picking up his fourth foul in the meantime.
Wolves managed to maintain their narrow advantage after an even third period before the defending champions opened the fourth with a 7-0 run.
A three from Trevor Setty cut the gap to one at 67-66 before five points from Pierre Hampton was followed by a big triple from Tyler Bernardini to make the game safe in the final minute.
Riders improve to 2-0, while the Wolves are now 1-1 having won their opener in overtime on Friday night. BBL Championship Manchester Giants 56 (9,31,43) (Y Williams 14, Webster 11, Goffen 9) Glasgow Rocks 90 (24,45,63) (Watson 21, Elechi 16, Lescault 12)
Glasgow Rocks made an impressive start to their league campaign after completing a 56-90 win away at Manchester Giants.
Neil Watson led five different scorers in double figures with 21 points on his Rocks debut, while Anthony Elechi added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Rocks established their authority with a 15-2 close to the opening quarter as they opened up a commanding 9-24 cushion. Manchester began to settle and edged the second quarter 22-21 to narrowly close the gap heading into half-time.
However, the visitors maintained their control and a late three in the third from Jordan Clarke gave his side a 20-point advantage to take and the lead continued to grow in the final period.
A 15-4 run from the Rocks took the gap past 30 points as Sterling Davis' side secured a convincing victory with GB internationals Kieron Achara and Gareth Murray back amongst the squad.
Player-coach Yorick Williams led his side with 14 points as the Giants drop their home opener. BBL Championship Cheshire Phoenix 85 (18,35,59) (Brown 27, Anderson 21, Wilcher 12) Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 99 (20,42,72) (Martin 28, Defoe 16, Parks 15)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle pulled away from Cheshire Phoenix to record an 85-99 road victory, on Sunday evening.
Scott Martin led the way with a 28-point haul to help his team get off to a winning start as all nine players got onto the scoresheet.
After a tightly contested first period, the Eagles began to edge away, putting together a 16-2 run across quarters to lead by 12 at 22-34. Cheshire scored seven straight either side of half-time to close within three, but would not get closer.
Defoe scored six points in a 13-2 run as Newcastle re-gained a double-digit advantage and a further 10-1 burst in the fourth would make sure of the result with the visitors ahead by as many as 21 with three minutes to go.
Josh Fox scored consecutive baskets to end the game, but Cheshire drop to 0-2 despite 27 points from Earl Brown and a further 21 points from Jamell Anderson on 8-of-9 shooting.
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