November Camp a success as Coach Kapoulas names 17 further players for February

Players attending the camp represented a number of BBL clubs, many of whom joined the camp following their involvement in the weekend’s round of fixtures, and overseas based players including Adam Thoseby, who flew in from Australia, Jamell Anderson from Spain and Joe Hart from Germany.

“The standard has been very high, the effort has been outstanding,” said Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas. “The whole camp was about a first introduction to the programme leading up to the Commonwealth Games and getting to know each other. Guys wanted to get better through the whole process, very unselfish in the way they did things and it was a real pleasure to work with them.”

 

The National Basketball Performance Centre was the venue for the on-court portions of the camp that included 4 practice sessions, including a scrimmage on Tuesday night. Sunday’s focus was on an initial team meeting, baseline physical tests and medical screenings, whereas Wednesday was aimed at recovery and individual player meetings.

 

“It’s been a great camp. Really honoured to be here and be part of it all,” said DBL Sheffield Sharks’ Forward Mike Tuck. “There’s lots of talent here and it’s been very competitive. That’s going to make for a really good team to take to the Commonwealths.” It was a sentiment echoed by Leicester Riders Andy Thomson, who felt the standard throughout the camp really brought out the best in those involved, “You can see the intensity, high energy, it’s good to see that kind of thing. It’s still early on in the process, but as we carry on we’ll all get a lot better. It’s an honour to have been here.”

Helping Kapoulas throughout the 4 days were his Assistant Coaches Alan Keane and James Vear, plus Apprentice Coaches Chris Bourne and Sam Messam. Team Manager Mark Lloyd, Physio Peter Thain and Strength and Conditioning Coach Paddy Waplington also played a key role. “Having James Vear and Alan Keane, both the under 18 and under 16 Head Coaches of the GB programmes, plus the Apprentice Coaches Sam and Chris, they all worked so hard,” said Kapoulas. “To get the best out of the players on the court, make sure we manage what we have to do, cover as much as we can, I’m very thankful for the effort all the staff have put in.”

 

 

One man who enjoyed a unique experience during the camp was Esh Newcastle Eagles’ Drew Lasker. Celebrating his 35th birthday on the Monday, he said the friendly atmosphere from all the players has been apparent throughout, “Most of these guys, we play each other and we know each other as competitors. One of the best parts of this experience was getting to know these guys away from basketball. Everyone here is a genuinely nice person, there’s been a great vibe.”

As the evaluation process continues towards selecting a final 12-man roster to head to Australia, Coach Kapoulas has confirmed a list of 17 further players for the next Team England camp in February 2018. Discussing the announcement, Basketball England’s Talent Development and Performance Manager Vladan Dragosavac said, “Moving from 23 players to 17 is by no means a narrowing down in the selection process. Players who aren’t on the list for February’s camp aren’t in any way excluded from final selection and we will continue to consider and observe every eligible player available between now and the end of February. This is just another step in the evaluation process of what remains a wide pool of very talented players as we seek to find the best 12 to take to the Commonwealth Games next April.”

The list for February’s camp in full:

1

Jamell Anderson

FG La Roda (ESP)

2

Darius Defoe

Esh Newcastle Eagles

3

Daniel Edozie

Bristol Flyers

4

Zach Gachette

DBL Sheffield Sharks

5

Joe Ikhinmwin

London Lions

6

Orlan Jackman

Cheshire Phoenix

7

Callum Jones

Manchester Giants

8

Andrew Lasker

Esh Newcastle Eagles

9

Raheem May-Thompson

Cheshire Phoenix

10

Omotayo Ogedengbe

Surrey Scorchers

11

Josh Steel

Surrey Scorchers

12

Andy Thomson

Leicester Riders

13

Adam Thoseby

Sydney Kings (AUS)

14

Mike Tuck

DBL Sheffield Sharks

15

Shane Walker

Leicester Riders

16

Zak Wells

Plymouth Raiders

17

Kai Williams

Esh Newcastle Eagles

Steve Bucknall, Basketball England Board Member said "Having experienced the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2006, I know how hard these guys will need to train, prepare and compete to bring a medal home. We have assembled a great coaching and support team and I am particularly pleased to give people who have contributed to our sport the opportunity to develop whilst contributing to our medal preparations.

With good preparation and a serious chance of bringing home a medal, we have an opportunity to profile basketball and encourage more young people to get involved in Basketball."  

February’s camp is scheduled to take place 18-21 February 2018 in Manchester. A final roster of 12 players will then be confirmed in late February. After flying out to Australia in March for a preparation camp, the Men’s side will open Pool B play against Scotland on 5 April before further games against India on 7 April and Cameroon on 8 April.