Daily Gossip, Wednesday 1/10/14

Remember when Great Britain players lived off €18 a day during their 0-4 Eurobasket 2015 Qualifying campaign? Well Sport England could be here to save the day.

BRITISH BASKETBALL TO RECEIVE FUNDING HELP?

Great Britain was expected to advance to Eurobasket 2015 along with Bosnia-Herzegovina. That, of course didn’t materialise and the fairytale story has occurred where that Iceland have qualified in GB’s place.

But some were wondering after their 0-4 summer in the qualifiers would GB even exist come Eurobasket? The women will compete at Eurobasket Women in Hungary and Romania next year, but what then?

Sport England MIGHT have the answer..

Via The Telegraph:

In a move that put pressure on UK Sport to follow its lead, the grassroots funding body chaired by Nick Bitel committed to helping basketball continue entering teams at major championships on a “match-funding basis” until 2018.

Bitel’s intervention emerged almost two months after Britain’s biggest basketball star, the Miami Heat’s Luol Deng, warned that the sport was “very close” to folding in the UK following elite funding body UK Sport’s decision to scrap its £7 million award in February.

The urgency was also demonstrated by British Basketball needing to decide whether to send a Great Britain women’s team to next year’s European Championship, amid serious doubts it could afford to do so.

Bitel told Telegraph Sport: “Sport England already invests in talent-development programmes for over 40 sports. This includes sports like basketball, which has a strong appeal among young people. That’s why we’re investing over £9 million in growing grassroots basketball participation and developing talent and why we’re interested in exploring what more can be done to support top players. We’re currently in discussions with our partners.”

[…]

The Sports Minister, Helen Grant, said: “I am keen to explore what more we can do to support basketball. I believe that the sport has great potential to reach more young people and grow in this country and we are in early discussions with Sport England and UK Sport about how we can help do that.”

Grant recently met British basketball legend John Amaechi to discuss the sport’s plight, while she will hold talks this month with the head of British Basketball, Roger Moreland.

Moreland said on Monday night: “We have consistently said that there is a gap in the funding system and so we welcome Sport England’s proposals. They put us on the cusp of a funding solution that will enable aspiring sports such as basketball to build on the medal-winning potential they have shown. We need consistent support to realise the hopes and aspirations of so many talented young players and to continue our journey.

“I hope that the sports minister can now exert all her influence to ensure that a solution can be concluded and put in place without delay. Time is short for our senior women’s team in particular. Decisions have to be made in the next few weeks if they are to enter the draw with confidence for next summer’s European Championship finals, which is the qualifying route for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

We at TB [and our own John Hobbs is praying] wish Great Britain the best.

DAVID WEST THINKS ABOUT RETIREMENT?

Indiana Pacers veteran David is considering retirement following Paul George’s broken leg, leading West to believe that his shot of winning an NBA title is gone.

He’s right, too. Pacers will be rebuilding this season in order to come back fresh and strong for the 2015-16 season.

There are other reasons too. Mainly that West set himself a goal of playing 10 seasons and thinking about where he would go from there.

Via the Indy Star:

Still, as West high-knees it up and down the court, he can see the light at the end of the tunnel shining brighter and brighter. […] “Oh, yeah. Absolutely. You know, that’s a part of it. You’ve got to be prepared for that. I was already close to retiring a couple years ago,” West said after practice Tuesday. “I was telling guys then, if we had won the championship (in 2013), I probably would have walked away.”  

“At that moment (George’s devastating leg injury), the light went out,” West said. “Even with Lance (Stephenson) gone … before he gets hurt, I’m like, Paul’s really going to have a chance to grow. So the light was still there. We’ll just ride with Paul and see what happens. When he got hurt, I was sorta like ‘damn!’” […] “What we were looking for, obviously what our goals were as a group the last couple years, the light just went out on that,” West continued. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I was (declaring) I’m not going to play, but I definitely think about it. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of time left in this league. I’m just one of those guys that just never intended to play a long time.” 

“I’ll focus on the work that we have, the task that we have here and the thing, we have to do here to get ourselves rolling and get ourselves in a good position. See what types of groups we can put on the floor, particularly early, and see what sort of team we are. We’ve got to develop an identity,” West said. “Again, it’s just a part of it. I don’t think anybody’s backing away from it. We’ve got to face what our reality is.”