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Joe Prunty (USA) - Great Britain head coach
GBR - Brits turn to NBA assistant Prunty

LONDON (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Great Britain have appointed long-time NBA assistant Joe Prunty as their new national team boss.

The American takes over from Chris Finch, who ended several years at the helm after the Brits' Olympic campaign.

Prunty will lead the national side at the EuroBasket in Slovenia in September.

The team has taken giant strides in recent summers, winning promotion from Division B and climbing to No. 23 in the FIBA Ranking Men.

Britain have qualified for the past two EuroBaskets.

The national side was guaranteed a place in this year's tournament because of its participation in the London Olympics, where the team won one of its five Preliminary Round games but competed hard and threw scares into Brazil and Spain.

"It is truly an honor to be appointed as head coach of the Great Britain men's national team," Prunty said in a statement by British Basketball.

"Every person I have spoken with has shown tremendous passion and enthusiasm for the program.

"This is an important time for GB Basketball and the opportunity for all of us is extremely exciting heading into EuroBasket 2013.

"I am grateful to all the people involved who have entrusted me with this position.

"I am looking forward to working with the players, coaches, and staff members who comprise the GB family."

Some expected Britain to appoint a coach with experience in the European game but instead the decision-makers have looked to America.

Prunty has seen many of Europe's finest players in action in the NBA, including Britain's Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls and Joel Freeland of Portland Trail Blazers.

The coach was on the bench of the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, where Israel's best player Omri Casspi plays.

Israel will be among the Brits' opponents in Group A at the 24-team EuroBasket in September.

Ukraine, France, Germany and Belgium are in the same group.

The EuroBasket is a qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

With his involvement in the NBA dating back to 1996, Prunty has also worked as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs and with Portland.


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