GREAT Britain men’s basketball may be preparing for its biggest moment at the Olympic Games but it’s a team with very much an old school Sheffield feel.
Coached by former Sharks boss Chris Finch the squad contains the NBA talent of Chicago Bulls’ small forward Luol Deng, but one of it’s most consistent performers was in action week-in, week-out last season at the English Institute of Sport. Sharks guard Nate Reinking moved back to the city last year to fufill his Olympic Games ambitions and the gamble has paid off.
Knowing the Sharks relationship with sports science services at Sheffield Hallam University would keep his 38-year-old body in top shape he rejoined the club that he had played for between 1999-2005.
Born in Ohio, Reinking is now a naturalised British passport holder and is one of Finch’s most trusted lieutenants on the court.
And he will be at his side again when Great Britain open their Olympic campaign against an as-yet undecided qualifier on July 29 as they bid to reach the quarter-finals.
Finch’s side face a tough task of qualifying in the top four of a group that - in addition to world number two Spain - contains Australia (ninth), China (10th) and Brazil (13th).
Before the Games start the men’s and women’s teams are playing a series of matches in Sheffield over the weekend of July 13-15. The men will play Portugal twice and the women take on Angola, Australia and France.
Former Silverdale student Devon Van Oostrum, aged 19, didn’t make the final squad.
Team GB squad: Kieron Achara, Robert Archibald, Eric Boateng, Dan Clark, Luol Deng, Joel Freeland, Kyle Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, Mike Lenzly, Pops Mensa-Bonsu, Nate Reinking, Drew Sullivan.
For tickets to the Standard Life Game On Sheffield tournament visit www.gbbasketball.com/tickets