UK Sport has cut funding for British Basketball due to the national teams’ failed targets last summer.
Both the men and women’s team were set a goal of qualification to this year’s FIBA World Cup and world championship for women last summer.
The men, minus NBA stars Luol Deng and Joel Freeland were eliminated in the group stages at Eurobasket, while the women fared slightly better but were ousted in the second round of Eurobasket Women.
Last year’s initial allocation of £7million, which was given to British Basketball for one-year with the rest being conditional on the fulfilment of a strict criteria policy ran out, and unfortunately, Britain’s performance in their respective championships have not met UK Sport’s expectations.
British Basketball chairman Roger Moreland has blasted the agency for its lack of vision and faith to let other sports grow into successful ones. He has vowed to fight British Basketball’s case with UK Sport to overturn the decision, but after overturning the decision once already last year, UK Sport are highly unlikely to do it again.
“There is a gap in the system and that system needs to change otherwise there is no hope to realise legitimate aspiration for those sports that are not already at the table,” Moreland said.
“The system is not like a tap. To work effectively, it cannot be turned on and off and still produce players and coaches to succeed in future Olympic Games or world championships.
“The basketball community at home and abroad will be aghast that this can happen again. It seems every barrier to progress for basketball originates in Britain, the very country that should be embracing the progress its basketball teams have achieved.
“UK Sport decided not to fund basketball in December 2012 and have done so again. As we asked then, we ask again – what price a legacy from 2012?”
Many Great Britain players have stated their disappointment on Twitter. And many Great Britain supporters have called on the team to perform during the Eurobasket 2015 qualifiers, where they will face Bosnia & Herzegovina and Iceland in Group A.
Think I’m going to give myself a timeout and sit on the stair to reflect on @uk_sport‘s poor decision making
— Drew Sullivan (@drewsullivan8) February 4, 2014
Great Britain’s Kieron Achara meanwhile tried to look on the brighter side to the decision.
Disappointed in the decision but. “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” You can’t put a price on PRIDE and Motivation
— Kieron Achara (@KieronAchara) February 4, 2014
British Basketball’s current player of the year, Jo Leedham, who is out for six weeks due to injury added her thoughts on Twitter
Wow aint that something…thats tough
— johannah leedham (@joey_leedham13) February 4, 2014