This weekend will see thirty-five highly talented individuals travel to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to be put through their paces by top British Basketball coaches and EIS Talent ID Scientists, in the second phase of Talent 2016: Tall & Talented.
Unlike the first phase, this stage of the initiative, which is being jointly run by the UK Talent Team (UK Sport and the EIS) and British Basketball, will be focused entirely on testing the athletes on the skills and techniques needed in basketball. The candidates, of which twenty are male and fifteen are female, will be tested on, amongst other things, their ball handling skills, technique, shooting and ability to defend.
Participants who impress in Sheffield will then be placed at an appropriate point in the British Basketball talent pathway, which dependent on their age and basic skill level, could be anywhere from an Area Performance Centre to a Regional Institute of Basketball. Those chosen to progress will then start on the years of hard work and determination needed to become an elite athlete, with the hope of progressing towards the GB team and a possible Olympic medal in Rio 2016.
British Basketball, who are responsible for the development of talented youngsters in the home nations with a view to them eventually performing at their peak for Great Britain on the world stage, are extremely excited about the potential of some of the candidates.
Warwick Cann, Performance Pathways Coordinator at British Basketball, said: "This is an important phase for basketball in Britain, helping to identify talent that has the potential to help GB perform on the international stage for a long time to come. The initial assessment days highlighted some talented individuals and I am keen to get them onto a court this weekend to see what they can do."