Israel praise British basketball progress
March 30 - Britain's basketball team have some of the best quality players in Europe, including Luol Deng (pictured) according to the coach of one its biggest rivals.
Israel's head coach Zvi Sherf claimed that Britain were now a force to be reckoned with as they begin to step up their preparations for London 2012.
Israel opened their EuroBasket campaign last summer against Britain with an overtime 102-92 win in Tel Aviv, but when they played the reverse fixture in Liverpool, they lost 96-86.
Sherf said: "The British national team established itself during last summer as a high quality team.
"The British national teams have some of the best players in Europe and high level players from the NBA.
"The games [between GB and Israel] last summer were very good and played to a high level.
"As a result of those games, the basketball fans in Israel, and there are a lot of them, have been waiting for more games against Britain."
That, Sherf claimed, was the motivation behind Israel's decision to compete in the Game On At The O2 tournament, that is due to be held between August 14 and 16.
Britain and Israel will compete against EuroBasket hosts Poland and Turkey.
Sherf said: "As soon as we got the invitation we agreed at once, while we rejected other tournaments that our national team had been invited to take part at."
Last year's game was played at the Liverpool Echo arena but this time round Israel will step out at The O2 arena, which is a 2012 venue.
Sherf said: "We recognise and appreciate the importance of the place of the tournament in London.
"It is the sporting palace in which the Olympic Games will be played.
"We also appreciate the high level of the tournament as well as the excellent hospitality of the British Basketball."
For more information and tickets visit www.gameongb.com.
|March 2009:||Poland to replace Slovenia in EuroBasket warm-up at The O2|
|March 2009:||British Basketball to host tournament at O2|