EuroBasket 2013: NBA duo missing from Great Britain's squad in Slovenia
Last Updated: 26/07/13 4:03pm
Joel Freeland: Cited NBA commitments as his reason for withdrawing from GB squad
Great Britain's men's basketball team will be without their big-name NBA stars as they bid to make the most of their funding reprieve at EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia in September.
Portland Trailblazers' Joel Freeland has cited NBA commitments as his reason for withdrawing from the squad, which was already without Luol Deng due to a bout of ill health.
"It is a tough decision for me because I have been with GB for everything up to this moment."
The GB men's basketball programme won its appeal against a funding cut in March and was awarded £7million over three years by UK Sport - provided it fulfils the funding body's strict performance criteria.
"It is a tough decision for me because I have been with GB for everything up to this moment," explained Freeland.
"I remain fully committed and very motivated to continue to be a part of the national team and continue to help build the programme in an effort to take it as far as we possibly can."
The 17-strong squad includes seven players who competed for Great Britain in the London Olympics, where they won one and lost four of their five matches.
GB's first preparation game will take place against Puerto Rico at the Copper Box in London on August 11, followed by trips to Finland, Greece, Poland and Spain for further pre-tournament fixtures.