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Tim Lewis: British basketball has made huge strides
COACH Tim Lewis feels Great Britain’s mens basketball side have done wonders for the sport during the Olympic Games, despite their disappointing results.
Britain triumphed in just one of their five matches in London.
But Lewis, who spent two seasons running the Southend based Essex Pirates, feels the British game has taken huge strides forward both on and off the court during the last fortnight.
“The results we had were frustrating because we came close to winning a few other matches but I still think it’s been a positive time for GB basketball,” said Lewis.
“All of our matches were sold out and it wasn’t just people who were already basketball fans coming to watch them.
“I think thousands of people have become interested in the sport and have realised how exciting it can be.
“And I also feel we have shown we are closely matched with these kinds of teams we’re playing now and it won’t be long until we make a breakthrough.”
Britain started their schedule with a 95-75 defeat to Russia before being edged out by five points against Brazil.
Spain beat them by one point before a 106-75 defeat to Australia followed.
However, Britain hit back to triumph 90-58 against China in their final outing and that delighted Lewis, who was the team’s video analyst for the Games.
“If we hadn’t have won a single match then it would’ve been pretty hard to take and people would have been asking questions about the funding we had received.
“But we ran both Spain and Brazil very close and were 15 points up against Australia before we imploded.
“The whole thing was run unbelievably well too but we now need to carry on this momentum and keep on improving.”
That aim will be done under a new head coach though as Chris Finch has confirmed he is quitting but Lewis hopes to be able to stay involved in the back room team within the new set-up.
“I don’t know what will happen or what direction they will decide to go in for the next phase but of course I’d like to stay involved,” said Lewis.
“I’ve been coaching international teams of various levels for 20 years or so now and I don’t want to stop doing it because I’m still really enjoying it.”
And Lewis particularly relished being in London and rubbing shoulders with some of the Games’ biggest stars.
“You see all the athletes while you’re walking about,” said Lewis.
“We saw Usain Bolt having his dinner and the USA basketball team.
“But they were actually mobbed when they arrived and couldn’t even make it to the dining hall so they moved back out after about half an hour!”