Maurice Watkins, the newly-appointed Chair of the British Basketball Federation has heralded the GB Women victories against Greece and Portugal in Manchester, and the team’s qualification for EuroBasket 2019, as a major statement that the sport is making progress.
He said, “Wednesday’s victory against Portugal and qualification to EuroBasket in 2019 is a major statement to all our stakeholders about our confidence in future success. It was great to see the GB Women beat Greece and Portugal in Manchester and see so many partners, staff, officials and volunteers pull together to make the two games work so well for the players, fans and the media.”
He also added thanks to the team staff who have all pulled together in recent months to turn around the fortunes of our sport at a national level.
He said, “On behalf of the BBF Board and Home Country Associations of England, Scotland and Wales, I would like to thank everyone involved in making this a successful and most memorable week for the sport. We could not have achieved this without the commitment and help of so many people.”
Qualification was also welcomed by the Chairs of the three partner governing bodies for the sport: Basketball England, Basketball Wales and basketballscotland.
Clare Wardle, Basketball England Chair, commented after the GB women’s game against Portugal, “That was such a fantastic game. On behalf of everyone all at Basketball England, we would like to congratulate the whole team and all of their support staff and volunteers. I really loved seeing so many kids here enjoying it and getting the opportunity to meet the players after the game. The women’s EuroBasket qualification means these inspiring players can influence many more girls to participate in the sport which will be great for our up-and-coming campaign we will be launching in the spring.”
David Davies, basketballscotland Chair, said, “On behalf of the team at basketballscotland, congratulations to GB Senior Women on qualifying for Euro Basket Women 2019 with two excellent results over the past week. The performances, particularly against Greece in a pressure game, were outstanding and bode well for the finals next summer. Well done to GB Coach Jose Maria Buceta and the team!”
Keith Mair, Chair of Basketball Wales, added, "This GB women's team has produced consistently outstanding performances in order to qualify for the 2019 EuroBasket and possible Olympic qualification. At the same time they have provided the inspiration for a generation of young women to enjoy playing basketball while aspiring to reach the high standards of preparation, teamwork, skill and determination displayed by the GB women."
Sport England also congratulated the success of the women’s team with Phil Smith, Sport England’s Director of Sport saying, “It’s a huge achievement for the GB Women’s team to qualify for the EuroBasket finals and we offer our warm congratulations to the players and staff. Following the Commonwealth Games silver medal for the women’s England team earlier this year, the sport is obviously making great progress. What’s also great is seeing the basketball bodies all working together for the good of the sport and we wish them all every success for the EuroBasket campaign.”
GB Basketball would also like to thank the key partners and funders who have all been fantastic in supporting recent games and the sport of basketball: Manchester City Council, Eastlands Trust, the British Basketball League, Sport Serve, UK Sport and Sport England along with our sponsors.