Support British Basketball

While most European countries that view the Talkbasket website, see basketball as a main sporting event in their homeland, here in the United Kingdom, unfortunately, it’s a different story.

Basketball is hugely popular, on a streetball level. There are various events around the country, a British team [Midnight Madness] treks to Paris, France each year to take part in Quai 54. Here, there are masses of basketball courts – and the sport is a main choice with schools, who decide to teach the fundamentals of the sport during their P.E lessons or after school classes. The sport of basketball on a grass-roots and street level is good.

But, it’s supposed ’big brother,’ professional basketball is struggling. And, also, it’s National side is lacking the coverage it so desperately needs right now in the build up to 2012 Olympic Games – where Great Britain, the hosts! Are the only host side NOT to have a place in the Games confirmed.

Basketball here has struggled to keep regular slots on TV. The professional basketball league, the British Basketball League at this time, has not got a TV broadcasting contract. Despite previous deals with Sky, ITV Digital and more recently, Setanta [the latter two, now defunct].

Team Great Britain had coverage of their EuroBasket games on BBC’s Red Button service – and delayed coverage of their warm-up games on Sky. But, that’s it. No news on TV, no advertising, nothing. To complete the humiliation, sport channels are regularly showing Darts, Fishing and most amazing of all – Poker on the TV.

With the EuroBasket qualifiers coming up, it is so important that Great Britain qualify. Not only to stay in Division A. But, to keep alive their chances of qualifying for a tournament that THEY are hosting.

Enter Sam Neter.

He is a British basketball fan who has launched his own marketing scheme. A website: www.backbritishbasketball.com – urging the British public to go out there and support their National side.

Sam has Facebook and Twitter groups that support this cause and eventhough people have joined in their hundreds – the real test begins on August 8th. When Team GB entertain FYR Macedonia in Newcastle. To see if the venue is filled with passionate and loud GB fans?

It has not been easy for Sam though. Just recently he was covering the GB U20 and 23’s in Lille, France – and when he sat down to talk to some of the players about Great Britain’s chances in the upcoming EuroBasket 2011 qualifiers, the youngsters shocked Sam with replies of: “ I don’t know a lot about them to be honest.”

Eventhough the majority of the Talkbasket readers are Greek, Lithuanian, Serbian, Spanish etc. I urge you all to join Sam’s Facebook and Twitter groups, under: Back British Basketball. Let the British hoop fans know that you are supporting this cause

Talkbasket.net will be following Team GB throughout their qualification phase with match reports and Facebook updates. Great Britain don’t just have EuroBasket in Lithuania on their minds – they have their Olympic futures at stake as well.

John Hobbs for Talkbasket.net