Ahead of Great Britain Men’s Under-20 European Championships, Coach Karl Brown took his initial squad to a friendly tournament in Italy where they finished with a 1-2 record.
The Men started their Championship preparations on June 27th, with training camps spread out over two weeks at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester. After the camps, the initial squad of 13 departed to Italy for a three game tournament which saw them take on Montenegro, Italy and Poland. GB opened the tournament against Montenegro in a game which saw the Men get out to a strong start winning the first quarter 23-19. Montenegro then took control as they gained the lead and finished the competitive game 83-68.
The home nation’s second game had them battling against the host side. GB didn’t give Italy an inch in the first half as they went into half-time down just one. The Italian’s turned up the defence in the second half and held GB to only 17 points as they poured in 33 of their own and won the game 57-40.
GB’s ended the tournament on a high note as their last game saw them claim a commanding victory over Poland. The first quarter ended with the Brits trailing 21-22, however, Coach Brown’s side had a great second quarter, scoring 27 points to gain an 8-point lead as they headed into the second half. The players carried this momentum into the third quarter, extending the lead to 72-49 as they entered the last 10 minutes before sealing the deal in the final quarter with a 78-57 victory. The team are now back in Manchester where they continue their preparations before flying out to Israel on Thursday for the European Championships.
The squad list for Italy was:
Hosana Kitenge, Charnwood College Jacob Round, Fuenlabrada (Spain) Niall Harris, Charnwood College Nathan Robinson, University of South Dakota (USA) – left in March Kareem Queeley, Real Madrid (Spain) Kaiyem Cleary, Florida Southern (USA) Brian Amabilino-Perez, University of Rochester (USA) CJ Hayden, Aston Manor Academy Leighton Elliott-Sewell, Polk State College (USA) Sam Keita, Myerscough College Kayne Henry, Northwest Florida State College (USA) – signed at Jacksonville State Romario Spence, Central Wyoming College (USA) Nathan Powell, Barking Abbey