Hesson ready to step up for GB FORMER Essex Pirate Myles Hesson knows the spotlight is on him as Great Britain’s men gear up for a must-win game Bosnia in the EuroBasket 2015 qualifying campaign.
But Hesson insists he is not worried about the pressure despite GB losing 83-70 to Iceland in Reykjavik on Sunday in their opening Group A fixture.
Hesson is likely to feature as first choice forward for head coach Joe Prunty during the four-match series which continues at London’s Copper Box this evening against Bosnia & Herzegovina.
And with skipper Drew Sullivan singing his praises, Hesson is full of confidence heading into the fixtures where he is likely to deputise for NBA All-Star Luol Deng.
Sullivan has described Hesson as a ‘heck of a replacement’ for the Miami Heat star Luol Deng – something 24-year-old Hesson admits has given him a shot in the arm.
“I really appreciate Drew’s comments about me being able to step up,” said Hesson, who plays for Giessen 46ers in Germany.
“Luol Deng is a great player and a big role model of mine so if I do get the small-forward spot I know they will be big shoes to fill, but I’ll try my hardest and give everything that I have to the team.
“I think that because Luol, Joel Freeland and all the other big names aren’t in camp at the minute it gives some of the younger guys in the squad, like me, a great opportunity to go after a place.
“Everyone is trying to play for their spot in the team, no-one is guaranteed in the line-up at the minute and that has made training much more competitive.”
Hesson and his GB team-mates have been in camp since July 15 and despite tough losses in recent friendlies against Latvia and Belgium, he believes the mood in the camp is good.
Tonight’s match at the Copper Box Arena in Stratford’s Olympic Park tips-off at 7.35pm.
GB then welcome Iceland to the Copper Box for the return fixture on Wednesday, August 20, before rounding off the four-match series with a trip to Sarajevo to face Bosnia on Sunday, August 24.
“If we do qualify for the tournament next year I’d love to get out of the group stages and go as far as we can,” added Hesson.
Hesson began his senior basketball career playing in the BBL for the Essex Pirates in Southend.
Spectators can book tickets for GB’s home games at the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park via www.theticketfactory.com or 0844 338 8000.