In March 2011 the international governing body for Basketball, FIBA, awarded host places to the GB men’s and women’s teams at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In addition, they also invited the Home Country Associations of England, Scotland and Wales to consider affiliating to FIBA via the British Basketball Federation rather than directly. From a performance perspective, a positive response would enable GB teams to build on the progress made since 2006 by continuing to play in European and World Championships and competing to qualify for future Olympic Games. A ‘no’ would mean the end of GB teams playing at the top levels of the sport.
The deadline date set for the three Associations to respond was 30th June 2012 and FIBA now has the resolution from each Home Country Association. England Basketball and basketballscotland have opted for the British affiliation structure, whilst Basketball Wales issued their rejection of the proposal on 20 June.
A formal response is now awaited from FIBA and it is anticipated that the proposal will be considered before the Olympic Games formally opens on 27 July.
Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General, commented previously: “In our view, this [British Basketball option] still remains the most sustainable opportunity of growth for all athletes in the UK and can lift the country to new heights.”
Roger Moreland, British Basketball Performance Chairman, commented on the England Basketball and basketballscotland backing: “There’s a real excitement building amongst the players in the Great Britain teams ahead of the Olympic Games. I know they have also been watching progress with the discussions with great interest. The momentous decisions from England Basketball and basketballscotland announced yesterday show how the sport is pulling together to drive basketball forward at every level and the chance to play in the Olympic Games in the future would be an inspiration to talented players across Britain and an encouragement to anyone to play and have fun.”
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