British Basketball: Sports minister Helen Grant gives support to sport

Team GB's Luol Deng in action against Brazil
GB Basketball received a cut in UK Sport funding following a poor performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Sports Minister Helen Grant has given her support to British basketball in its bid to secure more funding.

Sport England and UK Sport are discussing how to distribute about £500,000 between the six Olympic disciplines that missed out after London 2012, including basketball.

Earlier this year GB basketball players, including Kieron Achara, criticised the funding measures.

"I am keen to explore what more we can do to support basketball," said Grant.

Sports Minister Helen Grant
Sports Minister Helen Grant says basketball has "massive potential"

"I believe that the sport has great potential to reach more young people and grow in this country and we are in early discussions with Sport England and UK Sport about how we can help do that," she added.

Basketball and five other sports were stripped of their UK Sport funding following poor British performances at London 2012.

Synchronised swimming and water polo also lost out, as did Paralympic sports wheelchair fencing, goalball and five-a-side football.

But now Sport England and UK Sport are meeting to discuss how to distribute about £500,000 between these disciplines at elite level.

It is understood Grant is keen for basketball to receive the majority of this figure, after a "constructive meeting" with former NBA player John Amaechi.

"Sport England already invests in talent development programmes for more than 40 sports," said Sport England chairman Nick Bitel.

"This includes sports like basketball, which has a strong appeal among young people.

"That's why we're investing more than £9m in growing grassroots basketball participation and developing talent and why we're interested in exploring what more can be done to support top players.

"We're currently in discussions with our partners."

Rod Carr, Chair of UK Sport, said: "We do want more sports to be able to reach a performance standard that evidences their future medal potential within eight years."

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