UK Sport has come under further criticism for its funding cut to British Basketball, this time from NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.
Despite the record funding for Olympic and Paralympic athletes that was announced on December 18th in the run up to 2016, British Basketball was left in the dark, seeing their funding cut to zero, a decision Stern has labelled “stunning.”
“Philosophically, it is rather stunning to me,” said Stern, talking about the cut to The Times earlier this week. “I guess they are going to give it to water polo, pony polo or maybe golf.”
“The next Andy Murray of basketball is some place, but he needs a little help. If the Government doesn’t lead in some way it becomes an issue.”
Meanwhile, Silver was asked why it is that basketball in the UK lacks behind its European counterparts.
“I’d say it’s a lack of support from the Government,” he responded. “Basketball has a team of 12 players but only yields one medal, so it’s not an efficient investment from a medal standpoint, but the societal benefits from team sports are enormous. Skills translate into business and life skills. Governments as far apart as China and India have gotten behind the sport because of the cultural benefits.
“A national team does matter. People follow their Government’s expressed interest in particular sports, so we think it’s very important to the development of the sport for Team GB to be successful.”
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