What an exciting way to kick off 2022, with news of the four GB Maxis Men’s teams that will represent Great Britain at the FIMBA 11th European Maxibasketball Championships 2022, in Malaga later this year!
GB Maxibasketball Men’s National Programme Lead, Jesse Sazant, communicated the final player selections shortly after the conclusion of the men’s January training weekend in Sheffield, and 48 talented players will be travelling to Spain seeking medal honours in the competition age categories 35+, 40+, 45+ and 50+. It will be the first time that the United Kingdom has entered these championships at European level, and so we are excited to see how our teams will fare against the European basketball-powerhouse nations of Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Lithuania and Latvia to name a few. Sazant said:
“As a national performance programme, we have been honoured to have some of the most experienced former elite level players in their age category attending our training and selection camps since April 2021. Coming from all corners of the UK and parts of Europe to attend our bi-monthly sessions, the programme at its height had over 150 players come through the gym doors. This made selection a very competitive process to the last, and despite the challenges of Covid-19, I am confident that we have selected our final 12s with a high level of game IQ and experience. I congratulate those that have been selected to represent GB, and look forward to seeing them in action at the European Championships 2022.”
GB Maxis 50+
will be led by Birmingha-based Head Coach, Richard Parker and assisted by Kent-based coach Riccardo Raggi. The squad features former NBA, GB & England international Steven Bucknall, alongside national team players from his era including George Branch, as well as a cohort of former BBL players such as the evergreen Keith Pringle and Mike Payne. Fantastic to see former GB & Scotland international Iain Maclean, who has accepted the honour of captaining the team, with vice-captains Andrew Bailey and Sheffield’s Garnet Gayle.
GB Maxis 45+
will see former player with Plymouth Raiders and Thames Valley, now Assistant Coach with BBL outfit Cheshire Phoenix, Danny Byrne rising to a fiery challenge as he steps up as GB Maxis Men’s 45+ Player/Coach at this years European Maxibasketball Championships!
His squad includes former BBL and Scotland Internationals Stuart Mackay
(centre) and Keith Bunyan
(Shooting Guard). Danny will be assisted by coaches Darren Oakey (Bristol) and Kieran Howell (Worcester).
GB Maxis 40+ will be led by Head Coach Jesse Sazant, assisted by London-based coach Mike Martin, and Birmingham-based coach Stephen Barnes. This squad reflects some of the talent predominantly playing in the national and professional leagues at the turn of the 21st century. The team features a trio of players from Birmingham, Douaine Anderson, Robin Hall and Steve Foster, alongside ex-Welsh International Alan Duppa, ex-GB U20 Richard Wellings. Former BBL players Gareth Laws and Antony Gregory-Haase are also in the mix.
GB Maxis 35+
This squad features a clutch of internationally capped players such as Barry Lamble, Tom Adorian, Michael Gayle, Sam Toluwase and Simon Kearney. They join former professional players Stefan Gill (also international), Mosside’s Uche Ofili and North London’s Walid Mumuni amongst other talented players of their era. Here’s what Head Coach Liam Jefferson had to say about the selection:
“I am extremely honoured and excited to lead this group into the FIMBA European Championships this summer. The team we have selected is full of International, BBL and Division 1 talent and, naturally, we have high aspirations and expectations heading into the tournament. This group is a real privilege to be around from camp to camp, but I also want to put on record my thanks to all 32 players that have trialled for the team to get us to this point, as each has played their part”
The Mens Maxibasketball programme still has openings for Assistant Coaches for Malaga, and we welcome Expressions of Interest by 28 February 2022. In the meantime, we wish all those selected all the very best in Malaga, and as ever thanks go to the programme supporters and all our volunteer coaches, team managers and performance support staff. You can view the full line ups via the You Tube links below.