Congratulations! Maurice Watkins salutes GB Women
British Basketball Federation chairman Maurice Watkins has congratulated the Great Britain team on their performance at Women’s EuroBasket.
Chema Buceta’s team finished fourth in the tournament in Latvia and Serbia, an achievement that guarantees them a place in the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The team beat Montenegro and Hungary after qualifying from their group to earn a place in the semi-finals. A narrow loss to a France team ranked fourth in the world saw them play Serbia in the third/fourth play-off. Despite a disappointing end to the competition, the GB side earned respect and admiration for their strength, skill and togetherness – and for exceeding many people’s expectations.
Temi Fagbenle’s performances earned her a place in the Women’s EuroBasket All Star Five.
Maurice Watkins said: “I’d like to personally congratulate the team for their brilliant performances at Women’s EuroBasket. “They have been superbly led by coach Chema Buceta, backed by assistant coach Vanessa Ellis and team manager Mark Lloyd and the team’s dedicated support staff.
“The players have fought hard and displayed skill, commitment and fortitude to finish in the top four of the tournament. A great achievement.
“It has been heartening to see the whole of British basketball behind them and the opportunity of qualifying for Toyko 2020 is a just reward for their efforts.
“It gives us the opportunity as an organisation to keep pushing for greater media recognition and sponsorship for the sport.
“It also strengthens our case to keep pursuing the kind of funding the game deserves.”
GB are supported by the home nations of Basketball England, Basketball Scotland and Basketball Wales.
Focus turns next to the GB men’s programme. The team will play EuroBasket pre-qualifiers home and away against Luxembourg and Kosovo in August, with the two home games being played at Manchester’s National Basketball Performance Centre. GB’s U16, 18 and 20 teams are also in action this summer.