ST Helens’ Dan Highcock is preparing to take on the world in South Korea this summer after playing his way to a place in the GB Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team for the World Championships in Incheon (3-15 July).
With the strength and depth of the nation’s wheelchair basketball athletes continuing to go from strength to strength, the team that will head out to the World Championships features four new faces from the side who won gold at last year’s European Championships in Germany.
The team, captained once again by the greatly experienced Abdi Jama, will open their campaign in Pool A where they will face Mexico, hosts the Republic of Korea, and Argentina.
Ready to take on the world’s leading teams, the GB Men’s Team will enter the Championship better prepared than ever thanks to funding from the National Lottery and will be looking to improve on GB’s 5th place at the World Championships in 2010.
Highcock said:“It feels great to have been selected for the World Championships team this year, after missing the team for the European’s last year.
“I’m looking forward to being at my third World Championships, I think we have really good team this year and in with a very good chance of getting a medal, hopefully get the gold.
“We are going there to win, we aren’t going there to come second or third, we are going there to win Gold.
“It’s still early in the preparation but things are coming together nicely we are starting to gel together, little by little, day by day, it’s a working progress but we are looking good.”
GB Men’s Head Coach Haj Bhania said: “It was a very challenging decision following an intensive training programme over the last month. The players have worked hard with noticeable improvements throughout. The selection process was based on progress through the season & mainly on the intensive team training programme. The performance margins between the players leading to selection was very narrow.
“The players that have come in will all add to the team in different ways – Mark Fosbrook is very effective in his role and deserves his spot based on his performances and work rate, whilst Philip Pratt is a naturally talented player who brings flair to the team with his all-round skills. I was also impressed Lee Manning’s progress over the season after so narrowly missing out last year, he is our biggest player and has the ability to change a game for us, especially defensively.
“The World Championships will see how we’ve developed as a team over the past two years. The development within ourselves and how we have improved individually as well as collectively should then stand us in good stead to challenge all the teams there.”