NBA star Loul Deng has been named as one of the players in Great Britain’s basketball team for the London 2012 Olympics, the first time the UK has competed in the sport since 1948. The 12 man squad was announced by the British Olympic Association and brings the total number of British athletes competing at the games to 538 across all 26 sports.
Deng, the only NBA player in Team GB, stated he was eagerly anticipating playing for Team GB.
"I'm very excited, looking forward to it, great time for us to show that our basketball team can compete with the rest of the world."
As well as Deng, the other players in the squad are Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Joel Freeland, Keiron Achara, Robert Archibold, Eric Boateng, Dan Clark, Kyle Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, Mike Lenzly, Nate Ranking and Andrew Sullivan.
Little will be expected of Britain’s team, after they lost all five matches at their training camp in the US. Andy Hunt, Chef de Mission of Team GB, remained optimistic that playing at home could be a great help for the side.
"I think there will be more pressure than any Olympic team that's represented this country has ever experienced, not only from the home crowd but the 60 million people in the country and the billions of people around the world that will watch the games. However, the answer is for the athletes to really engage with that interest, to really use it to their advantage. I truly believe if the British public get behind the team overall Team GB will have a fantastic Games and the home crowd will produce home advantage. So we need everybody to cheer, to wave, to go crazy for the team, to wear their Team GB scarf, whatever way they want to show their support for the team. But it's going to be such and opportunity and the British public can make a difference."
Britain have still got time to prepare ahead of the games, including an exciting fridnly against the USA in Manchester on 19 July.
Written by Alfred Joyner