In a bid to get an NBA contract, Ben Gordon looks likely to represent Great Britain for this summer’s Eurobasket qualifiers, which begin on the road to Hungary on August 31.
London-born Gordon was presented to an excited crowd at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in August 2009 as the emerging basketball nation prepared for its first Eurobasket with Gordon as its leader.
But Gordon joined the Detroit Pistons during the 2009 off-season, forcing to put his international debut on hold.
Many GB fans expected Gordon to make his belated debut at Eurobasket 2011 and even at the London 2012 Olympics.
But Gordon never surfaced, and Great Britain’s international programme since the London Games has hit a downward spiral with the loyal fan base doubting Gordon’s commitment to British Basketball.
But, at the age of 33, no NBA contract since 2015 and seven years since he stood posing at centre court in Liverpool with a GB vest, Ben Gordon is keen to step on to the court to prove that he can still play at the highest level.
I think there’s a sense of pride being born there [in the United Kingdom], having family there,” Gordon said in an interview with espn.com.
“It feels good to be able to have that opportunity to play where I still have family at and more so just to have a chance to put that jersey on because I never really had a chance to fulfil that commitment. So I’m definitely looking forward to it.
After three straight appearances at Eurobasket, the Brits failed to qualify for the 2015 tournament with tame defeats to Iceland and Bosnia & Herzegovina leaving them with an empty schedule in 2015.
Gordon wants to change that this summer and feels that this is the best time for him to play with the national side.
“I was supposed to play [for the national team] a couple of different times throughout my career but things always popped up in the summer,” Gordon said.
“But there really hasn’t been a better time [than now] for me to play because I’m not with a team. It’s just an opportunity for me to get out there and finally play with Great Britain. I just look forward to that opportunity being that I’d never gotten that chance.”
GB will play Hungary, Macedonia and Luxembourg in their qualifying group.