Ryan aims to win place in Olympic basketball team
by Scott Mitchell
A former Sittingbourne schoolboy has his eye on the
ball and a spot in next year's Olympic basketball team.
Ryan Richards, who signed for four-time NBA champions the
San Antonio Spurs last year, has made his senior debut for the
Great Britain basketball team in the London Invitational
He moved to Spain at the age of 15 to help his
Former PE teacher and head of year at The Westlands School
Mo Fazackerley said the national call-up was further proof that he
had "made absolutely the right decision".
She added: "I think it is absolutely awesome.
"It's really quite incredible to see someone that you
really had a lot to do with and how they've matured into such a
It is maturity which British Basketball's head of
performance believes puts the 20-year-old in the running for a
place in the squads for the Olympic Games next year, although he
missed out making the team for the European Championships in
Warwick Cann said: "He has enormous potential to be a
long-term senior GB team player and seasoned professional
"I think Ryan clearly has the ability to make next year's
His former Kent Crusaders' coach, Jesse Sazant, believes
his career in the States, which began with frustration after a
operation on an old shoulder injury, will take off sooner rather
He said: "There's no doubt that the Spurs have heavily
invested in him and are very serious about him and it's down to him
to take the opportunity.
"He can be an established NBA player and that's the
Great Britain Basketball performance director Chris Spice
said: "Ryan has had a great summer with British Basketball starting
back in June with the under-20 programme.
"His great performances there and at the front of the
senior camp meant he was still in the mix to the very end which is
a credit to his effort.
"If he continues to improve on the little things in his
game then he will have a lengthy international basketball career.
We look forward to seeing him progress and we wish him
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