Great Britain forward Kieron Achara has revealed that during the Eurobasket qualifiers, he and his team-mates are each living off €18 (£15) a day.
Team GB are currently 0-2 in Group A after an 83-70 defeat to Iceland away and an 80-67 loss to Bosnia & Herzegovina last week in London. They play Iceland at the CopperBox Arena tonight needing to beat them by 13 points or more to have a chance of claiming second place in the three-team group.
Financially, things have gone downhill for Great Britain since the London Olympics in 2012, where they failed to make it out of the group stages. British Basketball has had its funding cut to zero and Achara has admitted that things have been tougher than ever with the players each getting just £15 (€18) to live on a day, in order to save money.
“It has been a battle mentally as well as physically,” Achara said in an interview with the BBC.
“We didn’t know exactly what the extent of the sacrifice was going to be.
“We are getting £15 a day. We are sleeping in dorm beds. We’ve had some guys whose feet were dead when they woke up because they had been hanging out of the end of the bed.”
Great Britain’s training camp was also cut by a week in order to cut costs – but their hopes of qualification of next year’s Eurobasket could be in tatters if they lose to Iceland tonight – with the worst case scenario being not to participate in future tournaments.
“We have made efficiencies until we can’t make any more,” Performance chairman Roger Moreland said. “We are in an overdraft situation.”
Great Britain’s women have already qualified for Eurobasket Women 2015, which is set to take place in Hungary and Romania.