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BOA
03/03/2011
GBR - British Olympic Association backs GB basketball teams

LONDON (2012 London Olympics) - The British Olympic Association (BOA) have given their full support to Great Britain's men and women's basketball teams in their bid to be granted automatic qualification by FIBA to the London 2012 Olympic Basketball Tournament.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the BOA confirmed that the British basketball teams had "met and exceeded the stringent performance and legacy criteria established by the BOA".

With Great Britain not a member federation of FIBA, the world governing body for basketball has given GB a special exemption to allow them to compete in London, but requires that Team GB prove their competitiveness and provide a solid legacy plan in order to be granted automatic qualification.

In a show of support for the cause, Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt and BOA Athletes Commission Chair Sarah Winckless signed a giant ‘Say Yes’ basketball jersey at the BOA headquarters.

Hunt said: "British Basketball has demonstrated to us a strong legacy plan for developing the next generation of players and coaches towards the 2016 Olympic Games and beyond, with the ultimate aspiration of qualifying for future Olympic Games by right.

"In terms of grass roots participation, there has been significant growth in basketball since 2006 and it is now the third most popular team sport played monthly in the UK, after football and cricket. The potential for continued growth and future success is tremendous.

"In terms of grass roots participation, there has been significant growth in basketball since 2006 and it is now the third most popular team sport played monthly in the UK, after football and cricket."

Team GB Deputy Chef de Mission and BOA Director of Sport Clive Woodward said: “British Basketball has demonstrated to us a strong legacy plan for developing the next generation of players and coaches towards the 2016 Olympic Games and beyond, with the ultimate aspiration of qualifying for future Olympic Games by right."

British Basketball Chairman Bill McInnes welcomed the decision: "This is great news for basketball in Britain. The prospect of Great Britain athletes being meaningful members of the Olympic Team, Team GB, in 2012 is brilliant. This BOA decision also recognises the support of the Home Nation Associations and their commitment to the future development of the sport.

"Our international federation FIBA, which has provided exceptional support during the past five years, will be considering the allocation of the 2012 host country places for basketball at its Central Board meeting on the 13th of March. I am sure that today’s decision will provide an additional boost to the case for the GB teams to be part of 2012."

British Basketball is running the 'Say Yes' campaign, which sees a giant Team GB jersey travel around the country, in order to gather public support for their bid for an automatic place at London 2012.

As the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the BOA, among its many duties, is responsible for approving the eligibility and entry of all British athletes who compete as members of Team GB at the Olympic Games.

FIBA

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