• London Olympics 2012

GB basketball team to compete at London 2012

ESPN staff
March 13, 2011
Luol Deng is one of Great Britain's main stars © PA Photos

Great Britain will have a basketball team at the Olympics for the first time since 1948 after they were granted automatic qualification on Sunday.

Board members voted 17-3 in favour of Britain, meaning there will be a male and female team at London 2012.

British Basketball had been asked to prove that it could provide a competitive team, and that the Games would leave a legacy for the sport in Britain.

The first criteria was easily met, despite the fact Britain did not have a team when the Games were awarded to London. The likes of Luol Deng, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Joel Freeland, and Ben Gordon will ensure Britain are competitive in 2012.

In order to meet the second criteria, the home nations of England, Wales and Scotland may well be required to merge in the future.

"I congratulate you," FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann said in announcing the decision. "You will be playing at the Olympic Games and we will be very happy to have you there."

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