According to MVP247.com, Great Britain’s assistant coach Tim Lewis claims that Ryan Richards could be capable of winning a place in the national team that will participate at the EuroBasket.
The San Antonio Spurs draftee had an impressive performance in the recent European Under-20 Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Where he averaged 22.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, that helped the GB U20s to finish with a 6-2 tournament record but only took 13th place.
“The level of competition was really high. I’m disappointed we finished 13th,” he said. “Is it a true reflection? No. Did the system count against us? Yes. I think we were in the top 4-6 teams there.
“It is frustrating but overall I think it was a successful summer. We’ve gone 14-2 over the last two years in competition. And you have to take into account that while we want to win games, there’s also a big part of the program, and that is finding young players who can step up to the GB team.”
What was more remarkable about Richard’s strong performance is the fact that it came after almost a season on the sidelines following shoulder surgery which prevented him from either returning to Gran Canaria or pursuing a call-up to the NBA.
However, it was enough to earn him a call-up to the senior training camp in Surrey, along with junior teammates Devon van Oostrum and Alex Marcutullio.
“Ryan, in terms of his physicality, has come on a huge amount in the past year and he now knows what he needs to do to succeed at the highest level,” said Lewis. “Him and Devon are not going to back down at that level.
“Alex has been playing at a high level in college but it’s a big step from the Under 20s to senior level. But it will put some pressure on the other guys when you have young players who will feature over the next ten years. And it’s an excellent opportunity for them to grow and learn.”
If Richards does make it to the national team, it will be a great opportunity for him to hone his skills and develop his talent playing against tougher competition. It will be interesting to see if his inside game and rebounding will be up to the challenge.