Great Britain coach Chris Finch admits that some of his players might be a little starstruck when they face the USA on Thursday night in Manchester.
The rise of British Basketball since its inception in December 2006 has been staggering, and even Finch said it’s a game that he would not have dreamed of happening this quickly when the programme begun.
“Great Britain has come so far in such a short space of time and it’s all thanks to the players who work hard every game and the coaches right down to the volunteers. Regardless of what happens at the Olympics, I’m extremely proud of my guys,” Finch said.
With Team USA due to fly into Manchester this week, Finch, himself an assistant at the Houston Rockets has conceded that some of his players, in particular the younger players might be in awe of their opponents on Thursday.
“They might be absolutely be starstruck, but it’s human nature,” he admitted. “I think it’s good that we get to play that game so it’s out of the way before we hit London because there will be a lot of NBA players playing at the Olympics, it’s not just the guys that play for Team USA.”
Those words were virtually echoed by breakthrough guard Kyle Johnson, who led Great Britain with 21 points in their comfortable 86-66 warm-up win over Portugal in Sheffield on Sunday lunchtime.
“I’m not sure if I’ll be starstruck or not but it’s important to play the USA because at the Olympics, we will be playing against a lot of NBA guys,” Johnson said.
“USA is the best out there right now, and you want to play the best every time and this is a good chance to see how we are and where we are going into the Olympics.”
Great Britain vs USA will be covered by TalkBasket.net
Great Britain vs USA (women) is on Wednesday night, tip-off is at 19:30. Great Britain vs USA (men) is on Thursday night, tip-off is at 19:00.