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Team GB basketball squad: Luol Deng heads up men's team for London 2012 Olympics

10:31AM BST                         05 Jul 2012

In the absence of stay-at-home NBA guard Ben Gordon young Andrew Lawrence has been handed the huge responsibility of masterminding Great Britain’s efforts at the Olympic basketball tournament later this month when the hosts will appear at the Olympics for only the second time, the first being in 1948.

Lawrence from Woking in Surrey is an extremely promising college player in the US but later this month he will be going head-to-head with NBA veterans on an almost daily basis.

The experienced Mike Lenzly, normally a shooting guard, will also be on hand while the veteran Nate Reinking, Britain’s one naturalised player, is an out and out three-point shooter.

The guard position has been GB’s problem position from the start, hence their patience and possibly overindulgence in allowing Gordon leeway to make his time up – he only decided against playing last Saturday – but coach Chris Finch accepted some time ago that he would probably need to make the best use of those available and will rotate the trio as judiciously as possible.

Elsewhere Great Britain’s final squad is very much as expected, with real hight and talent in the back court backed up by the sheer athleticism of Pops Mensah Bonus – who has just starred in a cup hat-trick for Turkish giant Besiktas, and the all round excellence of Luol Deng their NBA All-star from the Chicago Bulls.

Deng has been committed to the GB cause from the very start and is defying the Bulls in appearing this summer – they would prefer him to rest or get surgery on a long term thumb injury.

Former NBA player Rob Archibald, who never dreamed of a GB team at the Olympics, has delayed his retirement to earn a place in the squad, while fellow Scotsman Kieron Achara has trained very well in the last three weeks and fought hard in the warm-up games for his spot.

Dan Clark is an emerging talent and Joel Freeland has been linked recently with an NBA contract with the Portland Trailblazers.

The squad will be captained by Drew Sullivan who, along with Reinking, was the only survivor of the first ever GB training session at Sheffield in 2006 when only six players could attend. GB Basketball might still be minnows but they have moved on considerably since then.

“This has been an incredible journey so far for this team since 2006 and we are very pleased to announce our strongest ever team,” said performance director Chris Spice.

“I would like to congratulate all those who have been selected and at the same time pay tribute to those players that have just missed out. It is only through building our depth that we can continue to compete at the highest levels of international basketball and I am hoping those who just missed this time around will be with us on the road to Rio.”

Finch was faced with some tough decisions over the last three weeks and the situation was complicated by the Gordon saga but was in an upbeat mood on Thursday.

“Cutting down to a final 12 is always difficult. We had a really productive camp in Houston and to finally announce the Olympic team here in Loughborough is fantastic.

“The next four weeks provide us with outstanding competition leading up to the Olympics, which is just what is required before doing battle within our group come Games-time.”

GB Olympic squad:

Kieron Achara, Robert Archibald, Eric Boateng, Dan Clark, Luol Deng, Joel Freeland, Kyle Johnson, Andrew Lawrence, Mike Lenzly, Pops Mensa-Bonsu, Nate Reinking, Andrew Sullivan

from:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/basketball/9377786/Team-GB-basketball-squad-Luol-Deng-heads-up-mens-team-for-London-2012-Olympics.html


Luol Deng was born on April 16th, 1985 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luol_Deng

April 16th, 1985

April 16th

4 + 16 +2+0+1+2 = 25 = his personal year (from April 16th, 2012 to April 15th, 2013) = Excitement.  Thrilling.  Rooting for the underdog.

25 year + 7 (July) = 32 = his personal month (from July 16th, 2012 to August 15th, 2012) = Olympics.  In it to win it.

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