Leicester Riders forward, Jamell Anderson, has been called up to the Great Britain senior men’s squad for their preparation camp ahead of their game against Puerto Rico in the Copperbox and Eurobasket 2013.
Anderson has been training with the GB Futures squad, along with Riders teammates, Conner Washington and recently signed Harrison Gamble, and was desperately unlucky not to be in the original senior squad, after a series of stunning performances for Riders in their treble winning season.
The 23 year old will now join team mate and Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan in training at the FA’s national training centre at St Georges Park. The Great Britain team will play a friendly at the Copper Box against Puerto Rico on Sunday 11th August, the first game at the facility after being reconfigured after the Olympics. Anderson is a member of Loughborough basketball programme, and is the first male player from the tie up of the Riders with Loughborough University and college, to make the senior Great Britain squad.
Anderson, who enjoyed a massively successful season with Riders last year with the team emerging winners of the BBL Championship, Cup and Play-Off Final, has previously represented GB at Under-20 and Under-23 level; however, this is the 23-year old’s first call-up for the senior team.
“The new coaching set-up has given me an opportunity to impress and I’m going to take that with both hands,” said Anderson.
“Our head coach is new, I’m new, he doesn’t know me and it is the first time that we’ve both met. For me, it’s been great. It’s a fresh start and a great opportunity to play in front of the head coach.”
“To play with professionals that are playing around the world is an incredible prospect”
Although delighted with the call up, Anderson is focused on the hard work ahead, as he aims to become a key part of Great Britain’s Eurobasket campaign. Ahead of the tournament starting, Great Britain will take part in seven preparation games, with the first taking place against Puerto Rico on Sunday.
“Playing for the Riders is amazing, I love playing with those guys,” Anderson said.
“But to play with professionals that are playing around the world is an incredible prospect. I know I’m going to learn a lot from it and I really feel that I have an opportunity to better myself.
“The call-up means a huge amount to me. I’m not one of those people that get lost in the moment though. I tend to do what I need to do and then enjoy it after, so in many ways – whilst it means a lot to me now, it will mean more to me after. Right now, I’m so focused on getting into the squad and doing well, that I haven’t sat back and thought about what I’ve done.
“I don’t look at things in the sense that ‘this happened, because I did this’. I just continue to work hard, as I always have and, for me, it’s hard work over talent.
“Going up against some of the players we’ll be facing will be amazing. These kinds of opportunities don’t come around that often, so the fact that I can look at myself against some of the best will really put my game into perspective and where I really am.”