He’s made a name for himself on these shores this season with some thunderous dunks and vicious blocks in the British Basketball League with the London Lions.
Now Josh Sharma is excited for the opportunity to represent his country as he competes for a place in the final 12-man roster for GB’s upcoming FIBA World Cup Qualifiers against Serbia and Latvia.
The 26-year-old Stanford alumni is in camp with Marc Steutel’s side in Newcastle at present as the Men’s team prepare to face the sixth-best team in the world, Serbia, on Friday November 11th (7pm) at the Vertu Motors Arena. Sharma discussed his emotions regarding his inclusion in the camp.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to represent Great Britain, it is a huge honour and a privilege,” said Sharma.
“My mum was born in Hertfordshire and was raised in England, as were my grandparents and I still have a lot of family that live in the UK.
“I only got my UK passport a few years ago. I wish I’d got it when I was younger to be honest, but it has definitely been an ambition of mine to play for the National Team and I’m excited to be here on camp with the rest of the guys.
“I’ve only been with the group a few days, obviously, but I already have some familiarity with a lot of the guys having played with or against them this year so that has helped. We’ve got a big challenge ahead of us against Serbia on Friday before facing Latvia on Monday, and getting good results in those games is very important for us.”
Having represented the Utah Jazz in the NBA Summer League as well as enjoying stints playing in Spain and Poland professionally, Sharma has already enjoyed quite the career since he turned professional in the 2019/20 season.
His exploits in the last few months in the BBL, however, have certainly helped more British Basketball fans become well-acquainted with the centre’s considerable talents, and the 26-year-old discussed how coming to the UK has helped him grow as a player and also furthered his opportunities with the National Team.
“It has been an interesting and enjoyable experience playing in the BBL this year. I’ve had to adjust to a different playing style and stuff like that but we have a very experienced, exciting team, at the Lions.
“We’ve got NBA and EuroLeague experience, so it has been a great opportunity for me to learn and get better. I’ve really enjoyed competing in the BBL and internationally in the 7DAYS EuroCup.
“I think I’ve been on the radar of GB ever since I got my UK passport, but coming to the BBL and playing for the Lions has certainly helped me get a place in the team a little quicker, I think, so that’s great and I’m just really excited to be here.”
You can get your tickets for Great Britain’s showdown with Serbia at the Vertu Motors Arena on 11 November via the Newcastle Eagles Box Office now. Come and show your support for the team as they look to secure victory in FIBA World Cup 2023 Qualifying action.