British Basketball Given Boost With 2012 Olympic Decision

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By Matt Cooper on 20.3.2024

British Basketball Given Boost With 2012 Olympic Decision

FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, has allowed the British men and women’s basketball teams to automatically qualify as hosts for the London 2012 Olympics. Both GB teams have already qualified for this summer’s European Championship finals but would have struggled to qualify for the Olympics. FIBA is the only governing body in sport that has the power over the International Olympic Committee when having the final say on Olympic participation. Since the introduction of basketball in 1936, Britain has competed once as hosts in 1948 and finished twentieth. The women’s GB side has never made an appearance at an Olympic finals in the 30 years that the Games have hosted ladies’ basketball.

The star of the men’s team will be Luol Deng who has been key for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA during the past few seasons. He has started every game during the current season, averaging 17.6 point per game and helping the Bulls qualify for the playoffs. After hearing the decision by FIBA, Deng said: ‘I’m really excited. We’re really happy to get it. We’ve been waiting for this decision for a while. We put in a lot of work to get to where we are.’

The decision comes soon after the O2 Arena successfully played host to two NBA matches between the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors. During the Olympics the British team will be competing against the USA and their NBA megastars such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. The American men have won 13 out of 17 Olympic titles, while their women’s team have not lost since 1992. Other world class opponents containing NBA players such as Spain, Argentina and China will also be taking part. The presence of many NBA players in London next summer will give a boost for basketball in the UK which has continually struggled behind more popular sports such as football, rugby and cricket.

Overall there will be 12 teams competing in the men and women’s competitions. The teams, divided into two pools of six in the group stages, will play four 10-minute quarters. Eight teams will qualify for the quarter finals.


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