Cameron Hildreth: New landmark for rising starlet with GB call-up

NBL starlet Cameron Hildreth has received a first Great Britain senior call-up for the FIBA Eurobasket Qualifiers this month.

The 18-year-old Worthing Thunder prospect, who recently committed to top NCAA college Wake Forest, has been named in the 24-man squad for the games against France and Montenegro. 

It is the first time in recent memory a home-based player from outside the BBL has been selected.

Hildreth announced himself on the European stage earlier this year, impressing at the EuroLeague Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Lithuania and has already been a prominent figure for Thunder in the young NBL1 season.

GB go into the games in top form having won eight of their last ten games including a convincing 81-73 victory over Germany last time out. 

Eleven of the 12 players who featured in that important win in Newcastle are recalled, while the coaching staff remains unchanged with Marc Steutel again stepping in as acting head coach, assisted by Jamie Smith and Andreas Kapoulas. 

Rex Pflueger of Newcastle Eagles also receives his first call-up, while big man Ben Lawson (Kyoto Hannaryz) and shooting guard Kareem Queeley (San Pablo Burgos) could also make their first appearances after being selected for previous squads.  

Regulars Ovie Soko, Luke Nelson and Myles Hesson return for GB's games against France and Montenegro (FIBA)

Five BBL players are named to the squad including reigning BBL MVP Justin Robinson of the London Lions. Ashley Hamilton (Plymouth Raiders) Andrew Lawrence (Plymouth Raiders), Rex Pflueger (Newcastle Eagles), and Conner Washington (Leicester Riders) are the other four. 

The four Group G games in November will take place in a central Covid-19-secure ‘bubble’ in Pau, France. Group G is evenly poised as all four teams – France, Germany, Great Britain, and Montenegro – have a 1-1 record.  

With Germany receiving automatic qualification as a EuroBasket 2022 host, the outcome of GB’s games against France and Montenegro will be crucial in determining whether they advance to the tournament proper.

Ranked sixth in the world, France are favourites to win the group and it will be a challenge for anyone to beat them on their home court. GB are the underdogs, currently sitting in 42nd place in the FIBA world rankings. Germany are ranked 18th and Montenegro, 26th.  

This will be the first time GB have played France since FIBA EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia. That GB team, led in scoring by Dan Clark with 16 points, lost 88-65 to a French side which included Portland Trailblazers’ Nicolas Batum (17 points) and San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker (16 points). 

When Buck bagged 19

The last time Great Britain beat France was 32 years ago during the 1988 European Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Steve Bucknall was top scorer for GB with 19 points as they cruised to a 91-76 victory. France lead the all-time head-to-head series 7-4.  

Great Britain have only played Montenegro once and that was in February when they lost their qualifying opener 81-74. GB will not only be looking to even the series, but will want to beat them by more than seven points in case qualification comes down to a tie-breaker.  

GB play France on 27 November and Montenegro on 29 November. Both games tip off at 17:00 GMT. The final 12-man rosters will be confirmed ahead of each game. 

GB squad for France and Montenegro

  • Kavell Bigby-Williams, unattached, 6 caps
  • Dan Clark, Real Canoe (Spain), 104 caps
  • Ashley Hamilton, Plymouth Raiders, 24 caps
  • Myles Hesson, Elan Chalon (France), 41 caps
  • Cameron Hildreth, Worthing Thunder, 0 caps
  • Kyle Johnson, unattached, 83 caps
  • Sacha Killeya-Jones, Dabrowa Gornicza (Poland), 8 caps
  • Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, Poiters (France), 4 caps
  • Andrew Lawrence, Plymouth Raiders, 62 caps
  • Ben Lawson, Kyoto Hannaryz (Japan), 0 caps
  • Ben Mockford, unattached, 39 caps
  • Luke Nelson, Gottingen (Germany), 21 caps
  • Teddy Okereafor, unattached, 45 caps
  • Gabe Olaseni, Buyukcekmece (Turkey), 36 caps
  • Rex Pflueger, Newcastle Eagles, 0 caps
  • Tarik Phillip, Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel), 6 caps
  • Kareem Queeley, Burgos (Spain), 0 caps
  • Justin Robinson, London Lions, 40 caps
  • Jacob Round, Huesca (Spain), 1 cap
  • Ovie Soko, Le Mans (France), 10 caps
  • Mo Soluade, Breogan (Spain), 6 caps
  • Conner Washington, Leicester Riders, 8 caps
  • Carl Wheatle, Pistoia (Italy), 15 caps
  • Akwasi Yeboah, Saint-Quentin (France), 2 caps