EAGLES YOUNG GUN MAKES GB-U20 TRAINING SQUAD
Headlining the preliminary roster for the event, which will be held between 07 and 19 July in Italy, are returnees such as 2014 top scorer Luke Nelson and leading rebounder Kavell Bigby-Williams, who both helped propel the team to the high tide mark of an eleventh place finish last summer.
The roster also includes a number of contenders who stood out last year at U18 level for the Home Nations and are now looking to shine in a GB Vest – players such as Jules Dang Akodo, who led England in points, assists and steals.
“We really feel that we have a great understanding of the players that are available for selection,” said returning head coach, Douglas Leichner. “It is a long process and it gives all of these players opportunities.”
“They may not know they are being evaluated, but with the internet, various media resources, watching in person, video and so forth, we have a great knowledge of the players and I’m confident that we have a really talented group.
“The players selected should realise it’s a year-long process – it’s not just how they did on a shooting drill. We have literally been evaluating for a year, so it’s given them all a great opportunity to make the team. The camp is always very intense.”
“By that time, we should be very close to the final team. There may be a few spots left that are still left up for grabs, so it will be making sure we are ready to go and evaluating whether we have what it takes to win in the European Championship.”
Meanwhile National Teams Director, Warwick Can added, “We have a very talented group of players, several of whom set a very high standard last summer with their historic finish.
“While one aim is of course to be successful again, it is also about ensuring that we can use these tournaments to help facilitate the transition of our very best players into the senior team in the future.”
The full preliminary roster is as follows:
Kavell Bigby-Williams (Gilette College, USA)
Jules Dang Akodo (Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt, GER)
Ajou Deng (St Thomas More Oakdale, USA)
Pharroh Gordon (College of Saint Rose, USA)
Gregor Gray (Team Northumbria/Newcastle Eagles, GBR)
Tyrell Isaacs (London Greenhouse Pioneers, GBR)
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (Bristol Academy Flyers, GBR)
Ben Lawson (Western Kentucky University, USA)
Fraser Malcolm (FSU Selfoss Karfa, ISL)
Luke Mascall-Wright (Ipswich Tomcats, GBR)
Aaron Menzies (Seattle University, USA)
Josh McSwiggan (Loughborough/Leicester Riders, GBR)
Luke Nelson (University of California-Irvine, USA)
Sam Newman (Ipswich Tomcats, GBR)
Tamas Okros (Bristol Academy Flyers, GBR)
Nathan Smith (Medway Park Crusaders, GBR)
Morayo Soluade (Clinicas Rincon/Unicaja, ESP)
Deane Williams (Bristol Academy Flyers, GBR)
Jordan Williams (KBGO Duva Oostende, BEL)