Bantock to represent Britain in basketball The irony isn't lost on John Bantock.
Bantock, a Kamloopsian who plays for the Simon Fraser Clan, has been named to Great Britain's under 20 men's basketball squad that will compete at the European championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in July. The 19 year old South Kamloops grad left in May discount coach purses for sale for a tryout camp, and was one of 12 players named to the team on coach factory outlet coupon Monday. The Brits will play exhibition games against Denmark on July 3 and 4, before playing Belgium on July 6 and 7; Euros run from July 14 24. He couldn't be happier to have the chance to show off the best of Canada while playing for an entirely different nation. "It's something I have wanted to do since I was 15 years old," Bantock, a 6 foot 3 guard, wrote in an email. "It is a huge accomplishment for me. and in Europe." Bantock has spent his whole life in Kamloops, and helped the Titans to a bronze medal at the provincial AAA championship in Vancouver in 2009. He red shirted with the Clan in 2009 10, and was forced to miss half of last season in the NCAA's Division II by a quirky eligibility ruling. He has come back with a vengeance, and now has a chance to wear the British colours in Sarajevo. "I am excited, of course, although all of the guys have been complaining of how horrible (Sarajevo) is," Bantock admitted. "I think it will be a really cool experience to visit that area of the world." Bantock is eligible to play for Great Britain because his father, Chip, is originally from England. Chip and Laura, John's parents, are to make the trip over to England to watch a few games. Once their plane touches down at Heathrow, John will no longer be the most excited Bantock on the Continent. "It doesn't make me nervous they have watched almost all of my games for my entire life although I am glad they get to see me play," John wrote. "I know my dad has never been more excited in his life to watch me play for 'his country!' " Bantock made the team despite an injury during tryouts. He ended up with a torn hip flexor and a groin injury, but managed to get back on the court quickly enough that it didn't affect the coaches' opinion of him. "I hurt it in a drill just really unlucky I guess," Bantock wrote. "To begin with, our team trainer, Paul Fisher, said coach purse manufacturers it wasn't good and I would be out for quite awhile..." Fisher worked with Bantock, despite the former being an employee of the English Premier (soccer) League's Tottenham Hot Spurs and the latter being a big fan of Chelsea. "(The injury) ended up only keeping me off the court for two weeks, due to the work that Paul and myself put in to the healing and rehab process," Bantock wrote. "I was lucky to have his help otherwise the situation could have been different." Bantock ended up playing in an early June victory over the Scotland under 23 squad, scoring 15 points and grabbing three rebounds, before scoring five points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing two assists in a 60 55 victory over the Netherlands last week. "The games were both intense and good competition," he wrote. "Holland, a team that has just come down from the A division Euro championships, were quite strong." And so, for the next month, Bantock will take on some of Europe's best young players, something that should help him in his post secondary career, and even beyond that. Bantock has his eyes on playing professionally in Europe, and playing for this team shouldn't hurt. He's learning as much off coach outlet stores cleveland ohio the court as he is on it.
"One of the ideas they preach here is to act professional," he wrote. "That means at breakfast you greet everyone with a handshake, wear the colour of clothing the manager tells you to wear, treat everyone with respect, etc. "The coaching staff and others involved treat us as professional players, so that means we have to act like pros.
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