Leicester Riders forward, and last season’s BBL MVP, Drew Sullivan, showed his class as he put in an impressive performance for the GB men’s side against Puerto Rico at the Copperbox in London yesterday.
Sullivan racked up 10 points in a low scoring game which saw GB come out on top 61 – 55 against their South American opponents.
“It was our first competitive performance as a team and there were always going to be a few growing pains,” explained Sullivan after the game.
“We weren’t the sharpest out of the box for the first quarter, but we showed some great defence as a team to hold them at bay.
‘Our goal is to play as best we can every time we step onto the court’
“Our goal going into the match was to be solid in defence, as we know our offence will take care of itself as we progress,” continued Sullivan, who is currently GB’s second most capped player.
“Being here at the Copper Box brought back a lot of good memories for me from last year’s Olympics here in London, which was enjoyable.
“All my family were here, which was really special for me, and I would love for the Copper Box to be a more permanent home for us, (GB) as it has such good travel links. Having the Westfield so close makes it a great place to relax after the game.”
Sullivan is the only player in the current squad who remains since the inception of the Great Britain programme, after Nate Reinking took a position on the GB bench as second assistant to head coach Joe Prunty.
“Before and after the game, morale was very high in the changing room, even the guys who didn’t make the squad for this game never let their heads drop.
“They played a big part for the team, high-fiving and giving support to everyone, which says a lot about their character.”
In the run up to the fast approaching EuroBasket in Slovenia, Sullivan explained that yesterday’s game was all about everyone getting to know each other a little better and for the head coach, Joe Prunty to get a better look at everyone.
‘The game today was for the coach to get a chance to see everyone in a game situation’
“Our goal is to play as best we can every time we step onto the court, and at the moment it is still a feeling out process for everyone.
“The game today was for the coach to get a chance to see everyone in a game situation and to give some of the younger guys as much experience as possible,” Drew continued.
“After all, it is a great thing for the programme to have so many young guys involved as they will be the guys leading the team out in the future.”
Riders’ Jamell Anderson, who didn’t feature in yesterday’s game, is set to line-up for GB in a closed doors match up against yesterday’s opponents Puerto Rico today, in a bid to make the cut for the European tour before the final squad for the EuroBasket is announced.
Match Photo Credit: GB Basketball, Mansoor Ahmed Photography