Leicester Riders young forward Jamell Anderson is facing one of the biggest challenges of his career, as he represents England at the World 3 on 3 Basketball Championships in Athens this weekend.
Anderson was selected along with Myles Hesson and Devan Bailey of the Mersey Tigers, and Tago Ogendenby of the Guildford Heat, for this first ever World Championship of this form of the game.
The Jelson Homes DMU backed Rider’s star was hugely excited to be involved, “It is a first off for all of us, and the preparations have been excellent. All the teams are at the same hotel, and the basketball facilities are just stunning. There is a lot of tension around the place because the situation is so new. We can’t wait to start playing.”
Each team will play 2 games of 10 minutes each day of the tournament, and England are in a pool with Egypt, Lebanon, Russia, Turkey and the USA.
Anderson is not concerned by the opposition, “Everyone assumes the Americans will be favourites, and the Lithuanians will be right up there with them. But the 3 on 3 game is different, so I think the competition will be open. There are no NBA stars here, so it is a big question of who is in form and understands this form of the game. We had a solid week of camp last week and played the Czech team in a tournament in London a few weeks ago, so we don’t lack confidence.”
The international basketball Governing Body, FIBA, is lobbying hard to get the 3 a side game into the Rio Olympics in 2016 along with the 5 a side game, and these World Championships are part of the proving ground that this form of the game deserves recognition in its own right. Anderson is part of the GB Futures squad and so Rio would be a very nice objective.