Maher predicts bright future

Basketball Coach Tom Maher, with a Coaching session with young Basketbal players
Basketball Coach Tom Maher, with a Coaching session with young Basketbal players
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GREAT Britain women’s basketball head coach Tom Maher says he’s positive about the future of the sport after the Olympic Games.

Maher leads his team into three matches against Angola on Friday, Australia on Saturday and France on Sunday at Ponds Forge and the Motorpoint Arena. He told The Star: “I have high hopes for the sport in this country.

“The people at the top have said Great Britain is a major country so we should be involved in all the major sports.

“They’ve made that decision and from there they’ve funded it and hired some good people to take it forward.

“At our level we have two really good programmes for our men’s and women’s teams. And things are happening below that as well.”

Maher hosted a coaching clinic for young Sheffield Hatters and Sheffield Saints players last night at All Saints School. He said the success of the Great Britain teams at the Olympic Games could inspire the next generation of talented players:” It’s a fresh start. It’s not like basketball hasn’t been played in this country, but let’s face it, it hasn’t been big.

“The potential is a real oyster. If the national teams play well and are a source of pride it will make people feel more positive about basketball.”

Both men’s and women’s teams are in action this weekend in Sheffield. The men will play Portugal twice. On Saturday at the Arena and Sunday at Ponds Forge.

For tickets to the Standard Life Game On Sheffield tournament visit www.gbbasketball.com/tickets

Meanwhile Great Britain women’s volleyball team have announced they will play two matches at the English Insitute of Sport against Korea next week.

With start times deliberately made late to prepare the team for their crucial group match against Algeria in London, which begins at 10pm, Team GB will take on the Koreans on July 18 at 9pm and July 20 at 8pm.

Tickets are available from www.britishvolleyball.org.