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Local youngsters earn England selections

PUBLISHED: 09:30 24 December 2016

Basketball England held a national training camp in Manchester for the best young players in the country

Basketball England held a national training camp in Manchester for the best young players in the country

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Basketball bosses name squads after training camp

Basketball England has announced the respective squads that will compete in next week’s Haris Tournament and return for a second training camp in April 2017 following the conclusion of the first one at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester this week.

A total of 69 players were put through their paces by the recently appointed coaching staff over three days, with the high-performance environment consisting of injury screening, strength and conditioning testing and on-court activities to allow the management team to analyse and evaluate each player’s abilities.

All of the participants also had education sessions on anti-doping, injury prevention/management and sleep, hydration and fatigue to ensure they fully grasp the challenges that national programme players will encounter over the programme year and further help with their development.

This week’s training camp is the first of two for England’s under-16 and under-18 players prior to the inaugural selection of Great Britain’s men’s squads for the FIBA European Championships in those respective age groups.

The second men’s training camp will be in April next year, when Barking Abbey’s Joshua Ogundele and Pierce Maslen and former Redden Court pupil Daniel Ogoro, now studying in the United States, will be among those invited back.

Under-18 head coach Alan Keane said: “The first camp has really set the tone for how we want to operate this season.

“I cannot say enough about the effort, commitment and desire I saw from all of the players over these three days. From the opening session on day one to the closing minutes on day three, the players competed aggressively with intent to deliver on the expectations of the coaches and perform to the very best of their ability.

“I’m excited to be working with some new faces this year and, if their commitment and expertise over the first camp is anything to go by, then we are well prepared for the challenges ahead.

“Having key members of Basketball England such as (CEO) Stewart Kellett and (Technical and Performance Manager) Vladan Dragosavac on the camp added great value and they were very supportive of the staff and the players.”

Barking Abbey’s Robin Bedford and Andre Lavinier are include in the under-17 group and head coach Guy Coles said: “To have all four age groups at the National Performance Centre in Manchester working collaboratively demonstrates the positive steps Basketball England is continually taking to align the Performance Pathway.

“This three-day, combined camp was an encouraging starting point for the U17s’ programme.

“As the nature of our programme is development, we are still interested in identifying any Year 2000-born athletes that have the potential to represent England.

“With this in mind, we will be reaching out to AASE institutions and U18 Premier Junior National League programmes shortly with the opportunity to nominate players for consideration.”

Brentwood Fire’s Theo Hughes and Timothy Adetukasi are in the under-16 squad and head coach James Vear, of Barking Abbey, added: “The players did a great job of competing for the three days.

“We have some talented players in this age group and I’m excited to work with them over the coming months.

“I must say what a great staff we had on camp; they did an amazing job of teaching our players the concepts and style of play we are trying to implement.”

Players have been assessed and selected on their attitude, tactical/technical skills and physical attributes and will be further assessed between now and April through competition structure and their clubs and/or AASE institution programmes – environments that will undoubtedly further enhance the players’ development.

All of the home nations will nominate under-16 and under-18 players for the first Great Britain camp in June, when the players will be selected for the GB teams that will go to the European Championships in July and August.

Ogundele and Maslen will compete in next week’s Haris Tournament, where the under-18s will come up against the Republic of Ireland, Worcester Academy (USA), City of Edinburgh, Nova School (Spain), Sligo All Stars (Republic of Ireland), Derby Trailblazers and Manchester Magic.

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