Team England have named their men’s and women’s basketball squads who will compete for Team and Country at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.
The Games begin on 4 April and basketball will be making its first appearance at the since 2006, when Team England’s men and women both came away with a bronze medal.
Both basketball teams will compete in preliminary matches in Townsville before the semi-finals and medal matches take place on the Gold Coast. Team England women are in the seeded group up against Australia, Canada and Mozambique. The men’s team are in the unseeded pool against Cameroon, India and Scotland. The top two teams in each seeded group (Pool A) progress to the semi-finals whilst the bottom two play-off against the top two teams from the unseeded group (Pool B) for the two remaining semi-final spots.
Stef Collins said: “It’s always a great honour to represent your country and this is the first time that I will have represented England. It’s such a great achievement. It’s also fantastic that there has been a core group of us that have been playing together for so long.
“The majority of us play in the WBBL and it’s great to see some of the home-grown girls that have been based here for so long be able to go out to a big tournament like this on the world stage and see what we can do.”
Shane Walker added: “It’s just amazing to be part of it and it’s all starting to be real now. I’ve known the guys for a while and it’s going to be great to compete with them. I’ve grown up competing with these guys in the England Under 18s, 20s teams and it’s now going to be an amazing opportunity to compete with them on a global stage.”
Men’s head coach Andreas Kapoulas commented: “We have come a long way in our preparations within a short period of time. The October and February camps were valuable to the programme and a great opportunity to work with players and staff to develop our system. This has been an extremely competitive process and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the players and their Clubs for their efforts and commitment throughout this phase.
“We look forward to continuing our preparation in Australia so we can be ready for the challenges of the tournament. We have an exciting group of players with a lot of experience and talent and we just want to make sure we keep getting better every day that we are together.
Women’s head coach Jose Maria Buceta enthused: “For all of us it is an honour to represent England in the Commonwealth Games, and we are looking forward to show on the court how much we appreciate this privilege. Players selected have shown high level of competence and remarkable commitment to English basketball, and they have my full trust. I am sure that all of them will do their best to achieve the best result”.
Clare Wardle, Chair of Basketball England noted: “It’s really exciting that both our men’s and women’s team have great medal chances. All of England Basketball will be getting behind them.”
Steve Bucknall, Basketball England Board Member and member of the 2006 Commonwealth Games squad stated: “As the Commonwealth Games approach we wish both our men’s and women’s team success. With a realistic chance of winning a medal at the Games we look forward to following their journey through the competition.”
Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless said: “It is fantastic to be able to welcome basketball back to the Commonwealth Games after twelve years. I would like to offer my congratulations to all selected. Basketball is an exciting sport and I hope Team England on the Gold Coast will help showcase what is in store when 3×3 basketball makes its debut at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.”
Azania Stewart – TTT Riga (LAT)
Chantelle Pressley – Sevenoaks Suns
Dominique Allen – Manchester Mystics
Eilidh Simpson – Cardiff Met Archers
Georgia Jones – Manchester Mystics
Hannah Shaw – Team Northumbria
Melita Emanuel-Carr – CABC Basket (FRA)
Mollie Campbell – Leicester Riders
Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee – Durham Palatinates
Rachael Vanderwal – Ferrol (ESP)
Siobhan Prior – Nottingham Wildcats
Stef Collins – Cardiff Met Archers
Adam Thoseby – Sydney Kings (AUS)
Andrew Lasker – Esh Group Eagles Newcastle
Andrew Thomson – Leicester Riders
Callum Jones – Manchester Giants
Daniel Edozie – Bristol Flyers
Jamell Anderson FG La Roda (ESP)
Joseph Ikhinmwin – London Lions
Kofi Josephs – Glasgow Rocks
Michael Tuck – DBL Sharks Sheffield
Orlan Jackman – Cheshire Phoenix
Robert Gilchrist – Worcester Wolves
Shane Walker – Leicester Riders
As part of its plans to send the best prepared team to the Gold Coast, Commonwealth Games England will hold a 10-day preparation camp in Brisbane, create a dedicated performance centre inside the Commonwealth Games Village, and offer a full programme of support services.
Team England’s preparation camp for the Gold Coast will include a number of specially selected high-performance sports and support facilities that will enable athletes to continue training and complete their final preparations prior to entering the Commonwealth Games Village.
The dedicated performance centre will be at the heart of Team England’s headquarters inside the Commonwealth Games Village. It will provide an enhanced environment in the Village for athletes, coaches and support staff, where the team will have access to dedicated doctors, physios and a full range of clinical, rehabilitation, preparation services, kit, equipment, stretching and R&R areas.