Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Basketball Players Hope Games Will Inspire a Generation of Fans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Basketball Players Hope Games Will Inspire a Generation of Fans

Article excerpt

Byline: Miranda Bryant

Evening Standard OLYMPICS COUNTDOWN 347 days to go BRITISH basketball players today told of their hopes that London 2012 can help make the sport as popular as football.

As the completed basketball arena was unveiled in the Olympic Park today -- before the start of the London International Basketball Invitational tomorrow -- Dan Clark and Joel Freeland said they hope the Games will inspire youngsters to take up the sport.

London 2012 will mark the first time that Great Britain has fielded a basketball team for the event since London hosted the Olympics in 1948. This week's tournament, which concludes on Sunday, gives the 2012 organising committee a chance to test operations. It will feature Australia, China, Croatia, France, Serbia and Great Britain. Many will include stars of the USA's National Basketball Association, including Team GB star Luol Deng -- who plays for the Chicago Bulls. Clark, 22, who grew up in Greenwich and Chingford, said: "We're hoping the Olympics will give us a bit of a kick start in giving basketball a higher profile in this country. …

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