By David Gold

Standard Life_GB_team_21-03-12March 22 - The British men and women's basketball teams are to stop in Sheffield as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

They will play test matches across the world in the coming months as part of the "Standard Life Game On 2012" series.

The women will be getting together in May for a training camp before they travel to Croatia, Belgium, Turkey, the Czech Republic and China during their pre-Olympic preparations.

They will then be in Sheffield on July 13 to play Angola at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

Sheffield will play host to them when they face Australia on July 14 at the Motorpoint Arena, before returning to Ponds Forge to face France the following day.

The men go to Texas in June for a three week camp, when they will face European champions Lithuania and Russia, before visiting France, Spain and Belgium on their pre-Olympic tour.

The men's sides will be taking on Portugal at Motorpoint Arena and Ponds Forge on July 14 and 15 respectively, just under a fortnight before the Olympics get underway.

They then take on the United States for the first time in an international game in Manchester on July 19.

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Lorenzo Clark, the operations director at Sheffield International Venues (SIV), who operates Ponds Forge and the Motorpoint Arena, said: "This series of basketball games, which will play a key role in the teams' preparations for the Olympics, once again highlights the role that Sheffield and SIV are playing in the run up to the 2012 Games.

"It is also a fantastic opportunity to showcase our world-class facilities, both to the GB team and to the international teams who we will be welcoming to the city for this series of exciting basketball games."

Simon Green, Sheffield City Council's executive director, said: "Sheffield has well and truly got Olympic fever.

"We have been working tirelessly to bring teams like this into the city, and we know that by the time the Games come round one in seven GB Olympians will have trained here.

"I am looking forward to welcoming GB basketball to the city for this vital preparation."

The London 2012 basketball tournaments is due to get underway on Saturday July 28, the day after the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, and run until August 12, taking place at the Basketball Arena until the men's quarter-finals and women's semis.

From then on basketball will move to the North Greenwich Arena for the medal matches.

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