The EuroBasket competition is the main competition in basketball, which 24 European teams take part in. Founded in 1935, it has been regularly contested every two years since 1947. But starting in 2017, it will change to every four years. This year saw France become the champions of the tournament on 22nd September 2013. They beat Lithuania 80-66. The game could have gone either way as Lithuania were initially leading 29-27 but France managed to turn it back around. The game hero was France’s Nicolas Batum who scored eight points. Their proud victory was France’s first European title. After the game tournament MVP Parker said: “It’s hard to describe how I feel. The journey was unbelievable. I wouldn’t change a thing”. The EuroBasket final had a solid 10000 spectator turn out.
Both the GB men’s and women’s team failed to reach the final six with the women competing last July. The GB men’s team lost 88-65 to France and 76-71 to Belgium then beat Israel 75-71 and Germany 81-74 but were eventually knocked out by Ukraine’s strong performance 68-87. This ended GB’s progress into the EuroBasket’s second round illuminating them from the competition. Kieron Achara was one of team GB’s strongest performers as he scored an average of 10.6 points per game. Although they didn’t make it into the final, GB Chairman Roger Mooreland was hopeful for the future of the team. He said: “we have a pipeline of talent coming through the under-16s, 18s and 20s which is really exciting”.
GB were originally aiming for a top six finish in order to secure their Olympic funding. Even though they didn’t reach this target British Basketball hopes that UK Sport will recognise the potential of the GB Squad. UK Sport will assess the situation in January 2014 making their decision for funding February 2014.
As neither the GB men’s or women’s team failed to reach the final six of their tournaments neither will participate in next year’s World Championships. The GB men’s head coach Joe Prunty said: “It’s frustrating we lost and didn’t’ make the second round… but we can be proud of what we have achieved”. Their next competitive fixtures will probably be the qualification games for the 2015 EuroBasket competition.