History was made in Toronto as the GB junior men claim gold at the U23 World Championships 2017. Two GLL Sport Foundation supported athletes were part of the winning team; Ben Fox (Swindon) and Jack Perry (Cambridge).
In what was a dramatic gold medal game against Turkey, the GB men took the Championship title following four quarters of incredible play.
The game pushed the GB men’s team to dig deep and come together to hold back Turkey’s dramatic offensive play in the opening quarter. Coming back from a two point deficit at the close of the first half, they turned the game around taking the lead in the third and final quarters.
With quick passing and playing to individual strengths, the squad’s cohesion and ability to work together guaranteed strong opposition against Turkey.
Ben Fox and Jack Perry (both GLL Sport Foundation supported athletes) are clearly superstars in the making, consistent high points scorers and recognised throughout the tournament for their skill, the pair earned GB its final score with 80% of the gold medal game points delivered by these two players alone.
Paul Davies, Performance Director, British Wheelchair Basketball is delighted by the result:
“This Championship title has been delivered by a team, Gregg Warburton said at the close of the game that the team stuck together and this is certainly what they did.
“This title is the result of four year’s hard work by the players and performance staff. Head Coach, Scott Wallace, and Assistant Coach, Pete Finbow, have worked to bond the players as a team, to have the unwavering belief that they could win a World Championship Title. The team have had this title in their sights since winning the Junior European title in 2014.”
“The skill of our U23 men, apparent on the world stage this week, reflects the wealth of wheelchair basketball junior talent with the UK. Today we are reaping the rewards of the investment of UK Sport, TASS, Sport England and the National Lottery make in enabling us to develop talent pathways so we can deliver performances like tonight.”
Charlie Bethel, Chief Executive, British Wheelchair Basketball echoed Paul’s sentiment and added:
“What an absolutely amazing result for our World Champions. My congratulations go to all the players, staff and coaching staff as well as the team behind them.
“This was a fantastic demonstration of elite sport, of hard work paying off and an inspiring performance.
“Clearly this is a testament to all we are doing working with our regions and clubs in building a sustainable talent pathway.
“Well done to everyone. You are world champions for life.”
We are very proud of Ben Fox and Jack Perry – we’re confident they will break into the GB men’s senior side and hopefully we can help them on that journey.