Liburd and Nicol reflect on U18s European Championship experiences
The Great Britain Under-18 Men’s and Women’s coaches have given their reactions to their teams’ recent FIBA European Championship performances.
The teams made first outings to the since before the pandemic in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Divisions respectively.
Craig Nicol’s Men’s side competed against some of Europe’s best sides in the ‘A’ Division, battling the likes of France and Israel in pool action, finishing with a 2-5 record at the end of the Championships in Turkey, with wins over Montenegro and North Macedonia to their name. Their 15th-place finish means they will return to Division B next year.
The Women’s side, led by Nottingham Wildcats play-caller Kenrick Liburd, ended the competition with a 4-3 record and secured an incredible last-gasp victory against Iceland in their final game against Iceland to place 11th overall.
GB U18 men’s Coach Nicol said:
“It was great to have the players back competing in the European Championships after two years off. For many of them this was their first international competition and they had a great experience going up against Europe’s best.
“I hope this serves as a good learning opportunity for what level we must get to if we are to compete at ‘A’ Division level. We have five players young enough to return to the squad next year, so I am hopeful that their experience this summer will serve them well in future.”
GB U18 Women’s Head Coach Liburd said:
“A slow start to the tournament saw us struggling for consistency on an individual level and as a team. We saw growth and progress as the competition went on and the team got used to the level expected of them, as well as understanding the relentless nature of international basketball at this stage.
“We saw some really good team and individual performances later in the tournament, with everybody coming to grips with the detail and intensity that was required to succeed at this level. To end the competition in the way we did left us in a euphoric place, to be honest, in what was a surreal experience, and hopefully our players have learned more from this experience that can help them kick on in their next campaign.”
The Under-16s Men’s side are currently in the middle of their own European Championship campaign in Sofia, Bulgaria, with the Under-16s Women’s preparing to get their European campaign underway in Montenegro towards the end of this week. More information regarding where to watch both of these teams in action can be found on the GB website.