With camp just a day old for Great Britain’s Men, Head Coach Alberto Lorenzo has already been forced to shuffle his pack ahead of the crunch EuroBasket pre-qualifiers against Cyprus and Austria.
Following the omission of Ogo Adegboye from GB’s initial 12 due to a serious knee injury, Lorenzo has now been required to make further changes to his roster. Veteran forward Gareth Murray is one of those to bow out after the Glasgow Rocks man suffered a broken nose against London City Royals in the BBL last Wednesday, robbing him of an immediate opportunity to continue adding to his 55 caps. Murray will be replaced by the experienced Robert Gilchrist, who is currently playing for BC Lulea in Sweden’s top division.
There was further heartbreak for Ryan Martin as the 27-year-old has also had to pull out of the squad through injury. Set to be capped for the first time, Martin was forced to withdraw over the weekend and will no doubt be disappointed at having to wait for a potential GB debut. The Bakken Bears’ man will be replaced by London City Royals’ Ashley Hamilton, who already has 11 caps to his name including suiting up against Iceland during GB’s qualification for EuroBasket 2015*. The former England U18 and GB U20 representative is currently averaging over 12 points per game for the Royals this season in the British Basketball League (BBL).
GB Head Coach Alberto Lorenzo said: “Obviously it is never ideal to have to change players from our original squad, but we wish Gareth and Ryan all the best in their recovery. Ogo’s injury was really unfortunate as well and the whole team wishes him well during his rehab. We’re looking forward to what should be a great 3 days of camp and Robert and Ashley coming in will no doubt build on that. We’re going to be ready for Cyprus and Austria and our goals haven’t changed in that regard.”
GB’s camp began on Monday as players and staff reported to their Manchester base for team meetings and a routine medical screening. After an initial practice on Monday night, the squad will kick into gear later today at the National Basketball Performance Centre with twice daily practices on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thursday’s game against Cyprus tips off at 7.00pm at the National Basketball Performance Centre, Manchester and a limited number of tickets are still available if you want to be there in person to support our GB team! For more information, click HERE.
GB’s final qualifying game away to Austria tips on Sunday at 4.00pm UK time and will be available to view online through the FIBA YouTube channel.
* – This article has been edited to reflect that Ashley Hamilton has 11 caps, rather than the 1 that was originally reported.