Glasgow Rocks captain Rob Yanders has been released from the Great Britain squad as coach Chris Finch prepares to finalise his roster for Monday's opening European Championship qualifier against Hungary.
The Milwaukee-born guard always faced a battle with team-mate Nate Reinking to secure the lone berth permitted for a naturalised player. However he revealed that he rejected an offer from GB coach Chris Finch to remain with the side in case injuries struck.
“It’s been a good experience and a really different one for me. I was pleased that I scored 15 points in my last game so I could go out on a high. But Chris told me that his decision wasn’t to do with my talent, just that he could only keep one naturalised player in his team and otherwise, I’d have been in. But he’s said I’m in his plans for the future. I knew it would be difficult for me because Nate’s been by Chris’ side for the last seven years. I’m up against a giant there. But he’ll be 39 by the time the London Olympics come around around so I’ll have another shot.
Finch, who joined his team on a tour of London's Olympic Park on Friday, is likely to take 12 players to face the Hungarians with Luol Deng now available to feature on the court. Yanders must wait another 12 months for his next chance and has returned to the USA while finalising his club destination for next season, which looks increasingly likely to be in Spain's LEB Oro League rather than in Glasgow.
"I need to do things to get ready for the new season and I wouldn’t have been able to do that effectively without being on court," said Yanders. "But Chris was really straight up with me. He's a stand up guy who I really respect. And I hope I can come back next year and make the squad. I just want to focus on being at the start of camp for whatever club I join and learning their system. "