HoopsHype John Amaechi rumors
Outspoken former NBA star John Amaechi will be "shocked" if Great Britain are not granted an automatic place in the 2012 Olympics. Governing body FIBA meet in Lyon this weekend to decide whether Britain's men's and women's teams will be granted the place usually given to the host nation. FIBA has set Britain stringent targets on and off the court as the team was only formed in 2006, so there were concerns over their ability to compete and their plans to ensure the games leave a legacy for the sport. Sportinglife.com
Neal Meyer, a former NBA assistant coach who next month will oversee the league's operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the league has sponsored a variety of camps and coaching clinics in several British cities this week. But Amaechi would like to see a larger infrastructure investment in order to build on the visits by the NBA and the Olympics. His Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester is a working model for how the sport could grow. "We have 2,000 kids a week going through our doors in Manchester," said Amaechi. "If you don't live in Manchester, or in one or two parts of London, or in one part of Birmingham, there is no place to play that is of very high quality." SI.com
Manchester basketball legend John Amaechi has come under fire from Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan. He has hit back after former NBA star Amaechi criticised the British Basketball program just three weeks before FIBA make a decision on whether the team can play at the 2012 London Olympics. Amaechi, whose days as an England international predated the forming of the GB programme, spoke out last week, saying: “I think the organisers of Team GB are absurdly poor. We have a team that had an average age of something about 35 when most of the teams at the Olympics have an average age of 25. “The way we are developing basketball in this team is wrong ... but they deserve to be at the Olympics.” Manchester Evening News
Amaechi has reiterated he supports the Olympic bid, but his comments upset Sullivan, who has been part of the GB set-up from the start. “I am very surprised to hear these comments from a former player, especially because I’ve actually never seen this individual at any of our practices, road trips and for that matter any of our games,” he said. “The people that I do see are all the hard-working individuals from the GB programme that have improved it from year to year to the point that other top-ranked nations have been paying us respect. Manchester Evening News
Former NBA basketball player John Amaechi is considering legal action against a bar in Manchester's gay village that refused to let him in. The former star said that a doorman at Crunch on Canal Street described him as "big, black and could be trouble". Mr Amaechi, 39, who was out with friends on Friday evening has also complained to the council and has demanded an apology from the bar. Crunch's management was unavailable for comment. "I want an explanation of what happened - a real true explanation - and an apology, and they have not in any way been forthcoming with that," said Mr Amaechi, whose office has written to the club. BBC
With exactly two years to go until the London 2012 opening ceremony, Johnson will run down a specially-constructed track in the 80,000 Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Elsewhere, four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Chris Hoy, will cycle inside the velodrome for the first time while former NBA star John Amaechi will shoot the first hoop in the basketball arena. MoreThanTheGames.co.uk
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