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Ryan Richards decides to switch from TeamGB to Jamaica ahead of London 2012 Olympic Games

By Alex Hoad

Ryan Richards

Sittingbourne basketball star Ryan Richards is at the eye of an Olympic storm after defecting from the Great Britain set-up to join Jamaica ahead of the London 2012 Games.

The former Medway Park Crusaders star - who was drafted by NBA giants the San Antonio Spurs in 2010 - ended the season playing in the Georgian SuperLeague in a bid to prove his fitness and form before the Olympics.

However the 6ft 11inc forward has decided to swap TeamGB for the nation of his father’s birth after winning seven senior caps last year.

The 21-year-old confirmed to the KM Group: "I’m not involved with GB anymore," but question marks remain about his eligibility under FIBA rules having represented Britain at senior level as well as under-20s.

British Basketball’s performance director Chris Spice said: "Clearly Ryan is a talented athlete. He’s been with both GB and England for quite some time. We’re disappointed that he’s made that decision. But we have to move on."

Great Britain were left to seek reinforcements for their 21-strong squad the start of their pre-Games camp in Houston, Texas, this week.

It remains to be seen where Richards will play next season having spent 2011/12 in various European leagues, he however confirmed: "I’ll be heading to Chicago to get ready for next season."

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