HoopsHype Great Britain rumors

July 12, 2014 Updates

Joel Freeland has decided not to represent Great Britain for the Eurobasket 2015 Qualifiers this summer, opting instead to remain in Portland to workout with the Trailblazers. It comes as a major blow to coach Joe Prunty and the GB side, who are already sweating over the availability of free agent Luol Deng and Byron Mullins, who is expected to be a no show. Speaking to MVP Magazine in January, Freeland, who missed Eurobasket 2013 to focus on his season with Portland, admitted that he missed international duty, saying “I’m definitely excited about getting back involved.” TalkBasket

June 29, 2014 Updates
March 18, 2014 Updates

UK Sport recently cut funding for British basketball to zero and are expected to confirm that decision at a press conference in London tomorrow. That would leave a gaping hole in the sport's finances and would make the cost of insuring NBA stars Deng and Freeland - who have both suffered injuries this season - a big issue. It cost Great Britain around £300,000 to insure Deng to play at the 2012 London Olympics. But it is likely to cost even more this time around. Daily Star

February 20, 2014 Updates

Deng admitted that UK Sport's controversial decision to cut funding was part of his motivation in opening the academy in Brixton. Basketball saw it's funding cut by the sporting body just 18 months after the London Olympics, but UK Sport decided it couldn't justify the ongoing expenditure given basketball's slim medal prospects. Deng spent his formative years in Brixton after moving to England from Sudan before heading to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a professional basketball player in the NBA. The Daily Express

Mark Woods: Luol Deng will launch his an Academy this summer in Brixton, aimed at local youth and including a programme with mentoring in life skills. Twitter @markbritball

January 16, 2014 Updates
January 15, 2014 Updates

New Cleveland Cavalier star, Luol Deng, is committed to the 2014 Great Britain (GB) summer programme, subject to free agency, GB Chairman Roger Moreland announced today. “We’re pleased to say that Lu Deng has said that he will play this summer, subject to free agency being sorted. Now obviously, one of the big things for us, as Joe (Prunty) referred to, is it’s a family, we understand those things (Luol Deng’s impending free agency) are important, are very important, and it’s a big year for Lu, so we know how committed Lu is to the GB cause, and I think all of you do here as well. HoopsFix.com.com

January 14, 2014 Updates

Nets lead assistant Joe Prunty has agreed to a new deal to remain as the head coach of Great Britain’s national team for this summer’s EuroBasket qualification round. Team sources confirmed that approval has been granted for him to take the helm for a second campaign after guiding an inexperienced side to the brink of the second round of the finals in Slovenia in September 2013 -- without the services of Luol Deng of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Freeland of the Portland Trail Blazers. ESPN.com

Nets lead assistant Joe Prunty has agreed a new deal to remain as the head coach of Great Britain’s national team for this summer’s EuroBasket qualification round. Team sources confirmed that approval has been granted for him to take the helm for a second campaign after guiding an inexperienced side to the brink of the second round of last September’s finals in Slovenia -- without the services of Luol Deng of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Freeland of the Portland Trail Blazers. British Basketball has called a press conference Wednesday to formally announce the return of Prunty, who was an assistant in Cleveland before coming to Brooklyn last summer. ESPN.com

December 20, 2013 Updates

With a taste for the unconventional, he now has his eyes fixed on an alternative summer job. In 2012, his British passport arrived in the mail, sparking a frenetic but ultimately fruitless courtship to recruit him for Great Britain’s Olympic squad. He was in, then out. Confusion reigned when he was taking part in a training game in Charlotte on the same day his no-show for London was announced. There was no misdirection, Mullens affirms. “I had a toe injury in April that year. It really messed everything up about the Olympics. It sucked not going there. But it was better for me. My son was born in August so there was no chance of me missing that.” BT.com

With his move to the Clippers in the works, he also passed on this past summer’s EuroBasket finals. 2014’s qualification campaign, he hints, may be a different tale after a recent discussion with GB coach Joe Prunty. “The question’s in the air. I talked to Joe. I’ll need to talk to my family as well.” BT.com

November 26, 2013 Updates

NBA star Luol Deng has told British Basketball to do more to persuade the country’s best players to commit to Great Britain in order for the team to reach its potential. Deng believes the likes of Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens - NBA players who are eligible for Britain but yet to appear - would take the national team to the next level and is certain both could be persuaded to play if British Basketball (BB) made the effort. 'I’ve always said, we could be a great team, and could make a lot of noise in Europe,' he said. Daily Mail

However, Mullens confirmed over the weekend he was still open to playing for Britain and Deng believes that goes for Gordon too. 'With any player, it’s just like any other job, the more you show them attention and show them how interested you are, the more they want to play for you,' he said. 'GB has to be in touch with these guys, and even hire somebody who can go and watch them every now and then. Daily Mail

November 24, 2013 Updates

Byron Mullens has maintained he still wants to represent Great Britain despite snubbing the national team in successive years. “Yeah there are definitely plans,” he confirmed. “I was planning on playing over the summer at Eurobasket, but my boy was born. I really wanted to play but I felt I had to be there for his first birthday. Everything just didn’t pan out, I was still a free agent, and hadn’t signed with the Clippers yet, so it didn’t quite work out. However, I really am looking forward to playing in the near future.“ MVP 24/7

Joel Freeland last week also confirmed he will return to GB for 2014 with Luol Deng also telling British Basketball of his likely availability for August’s EuroBasket qualifiers. MVP 24/7

November 19, 2013 Updates
November 1, 2013 Updates
October 9, 2013 Updates

(Durant) would be open to the idea of the NBA featuring in England during the season, something the NFL has made a success of with their fixtures at Wembley. "The fans were unbelievable and they deserve to have some more basketball, and regular-season basketball too, over here and I'm sure you'll see them expand that in the future. Hopefully we'll be one of those teams that comes over because I've enjoyed it," he said. ESPN.com

Manchester United teenage sensation Adnan Januzaj and his team-mates David de Gea and Rio Ferdinand were among the star-studded cast who spent a night of the international break watching some of the finest basketball players on the planet in Manchester. Januzaj, who rejected a call-up from the Belgium national team earlier this week, was in the crowd as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Philadelphia 76ers at the Phones 4 U Arena 103-99. Daily Mail

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