No fewer than 20 BBL players have been named by Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas for Team England’s first preparation camp in November ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Of the 24 players, 20 are currently plying their trade for teams in the BBL, once again showcasing the domestic based talent currently available for potential Team England selection.
“'It has been great to see the positive response from players to represent England in the Commonwealth Games,” said Kapoulas.
“We have a great group of players for the first camp with very strong representation from the domestic league and we look forward to starting our preparations.”
Leicester Riders have three players included in the list with Andy Thomson, Keifer Douse and Shane Walker. Esh Group Eagles Newcaste also have 3 players attending the camp as Drew Lasker, Darius Defoe and Kai Williams all get the nod.
Another BBL side with a trio of players selected by Kapoulas are London Lions, with Paul Guede, Joe Ikhinmwin and Will Hall all included. Meanwhile Mike Tuck, Rob Marsden and Zach Gachette have helped DBL Sharks Sheffield to a strong start this season and those 3 are also rewarded with a place in the initial 24.
Fresh off an impressive summer with the GB U20s that helped the team to claim a silver medal and promotion for Division A, there is also a place for Josh Steel of Surrey Scorchers. As a previous U16 and U18 England selection, the former Barking Abbey player has risen through the Basketball England Performance Pathway.
Only 3 players from the initial list of 24 are currently playing outside of the BBL, in former Leicester Riders’ star Conner Washington (now in Denmark with FOG Naestved), FG La Roda’s Jamell Anderson (based in Spain after playing with Cheshire Phoenix last year) and Sydney Kings’ Adam Thoseby all making the cut and expected to be in attendance at the camp.
One player with extra incentive to impress Kapoulas is guard, Joe Hart. Currently without a club after his release from the Glasgow Rocks recently, the former Newcastle Eagles man will be hoping he can use November’s camp to put himself in the shop window for a deal elsewhere - as well as a place in Australia.
The squad is pleasing for Coach Kapoulas who added: “We have a solid mixture of youth and experience and it's very pleasing to see a number of players who have been involved in the England pathway now getting the opportunity to represent England at the senior level.”
The play-caller and his squad will meet up later this month for their first camp. Moving into 2018, there will be a further camp in February, before a final roster of 12 players needs to be confirmed in late February, before April’s Games. The Men will open Pool B play against Scotland on 5 April before further games against India on 7 April and Cameroon on 8 April.
Jamell Anderson (FG La Roda-ESP)
Darius Defoe (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle)
Kiefer Douse (Leicester Riders)
Daniel Edozie (Bristol Flyers)
Zach Gachette (DBL Sharks Sheffield
Will Hall (London Lions)
Joe Hart (Unattached)
Joe Ikhinmwin (London Lions)
Orlan Jackman (Cheshire Phoenix)
Callum Jones (Manchester Giants)
Kofi Josephs (Glasgow Rocks)
Drew Lasker (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle)
Rob Marsden (DBL Sharks Sheffield)
Raheem May-Thompson (Cheshire Phoenix)
Tayo Ogedengbe (Surrey Scorchers)
Paul Guede (London Lions)
Josh Steel (Surrey Scorchers)
Andrew Thomson (Leicester Riders)
Adam Thoseby (Sydney Kings -AUS)
Mike Tuck (DBL Sharks Sheffield)
Shane Walker (Leicester Riders)
Conner Washington (FOG Naestved -DEN)
Zak Wells (Plymouth Raiders)
Kai Williams (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle)