GB Basketball U20 Make History
Sole Scot Sean plays jack of all trades for country.
GB U20 Men could walk away from the European Championships with their heads held high already, after they secured their place to stay in Division A next time around with their win over Greece, no small feat to be scoffed at, despite the uncertainty of the HCAs committing to the U20 programme next season.
The GB boys started 0-3 after losses to Turkey, Montenegro and Lithuania and then followed that up with a tough loss to finalists Croatia, meaning the best they could play for was 9th place, but there was still a tough journey ahead. Next up would be Greece, with more than just a win on the line, but securing Division A status for next season, something many would be say is vitally needed with the current situation of British Basketball. This win also meant that the lowest they could finish was 12th, with the highest still being 9th.
“I am exceptionally proud of our group. We showed resilience, toughness and togetherness in a high pressured situation,” Head Coach Marc Steutel commented. [Per Hoopsfix.com]
3pt shooting was clearly the key to success for GB, hitting 11 in their first win equalled their combined total for their previous games. The boys found confidence after turning around a 15 point second quarter deficit to come out with the W. Next up stood Ukraine, who were no match for the Brits as they cruised past 82-66 behind some ferocious dunks and rim attacks, the Ukrainian defence was no match for the athleticism of our guys.
This result meant Great Britain had two wins on the bounce, giving them a place in the 9th/10th classification game, having to play Lithuania, who had already defeated GB previously. However, coming off a huge win would surely give the boys the added boost of confidence needed.
It would be a close encounter, GB came as close as 2 points with the final four minutes remaining but couldn’t hold on to secure a ninth-place finish. Instead, they walk away with a top 10 finish in Europe, not something many can add to their resumé. History was made as this was the highest finish for a junior GB team at Euro’s.
Sole Scot Sean Nilon-Lino was showing up as a man of many talents as he filled up the box score in all contests on limited minutes, making the most of his opportunity as one of the younger team members at just 18 years old. His major statistical averages don’t pop out, but look closer and you’ll see that no one has a positive input in every statistical category except Lino, showing his sheer talent as a rounded Hooper.
— Hoopsfix 🇬🇧🏀 (@Hoopsfix) July 19, 2018
Carl Wheatle has and would be a leader in the team on the offensive end, leading the team in scoring in multiple games, averaging 17.1 pts ppg, impressive at a major competition. Wheatle is a legitimate scorer, and he’s efficient too as he led the squad with a 16.9 efficiency, watch out defenders.