John Madejski Academy students and Reading Rockets players Samuel Grant and David Chive have recently represented the Great Britain Under 18 team alongside Division One Men’s Head Coach and JMA Basketball Director Alan Keane who oversees the programme as Head Coach.Coach Keane selected 16 players for his initial squad but has been faced with a number of injuries and limited preparation time but this hasn’t stopped messers Grant and Chive cutting their teeth at the highest level. Both players attended the first camp in Manchester just over a week ago before being selected to represent their country in a warm up tournament to the European Championships in France last weekend.
Alongside their teammates, the pair faced three powerhouses at the Under 18 level, in France, Russia, and Croatia as Coach Keane and his men prepare for the European Championships at the end of the month in Greece. All four teams in the tournament currently hold Division A status with the Great Britain outfit of 2018 finishing in their highest position last year in seventh.
The tournament started with a heavy defeat to France before a narrow loss against Russia which saw Sam Grant score 9 points and pull down 4 rebounds in his 11 minutes of play whilst David Chive had 9 rebounds from the point guard position to go with 10 points. In the final game of the tournament against Croatia, Chive was again active on the glass securing 5 rebounds for his team as the 17 year old started all three games and was a big factor heading into next week’s final camp in Loughborough.
JMA Rockets Performance Director Matt Johnson is really pleased to see the representation of players and coaches at GB level and was particular impressed with both Grant and Chive leading up to the European Championships. He said,
“Sam and David are both fantastic members of our school and club and we are thrilled to see all their persistence and hard work standing them in good stead as they continue their international journeys with the Great Britain Under 18 Men in France last week. Their journey with the Rockets over the last year has been one filled with consistent challenges and hurdles to overcome, from injury to coursework deadlines, EABL to Men’s Division One. The programme for any young athlete at this age group is a testing one and it is a testament to their upbringing, character and desire to get better each day.
We are very proud of all of our student athletes and to hear when any of them excel towards an International level is wonderful. We wish them and all the other young men involved all the best on their next training camps.”