Basketball star proud to play in Olympics

Team GB basketball captain Drew Sullivan, from Blyth, jumps to score during the men's basketball preliminary round match against China at the London 2012 Olympic Games.  (Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/GettyImages)

Team GB basketball captain Drew Sullivan, from Blyth, jumps to score during the men's basketball preliminary round match against China at the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/GettyImages)

0
Have your say

AN OLYMPIC athlete is heading home to Blyth after being part of Team GB at the London 2012 games.

Drew Sullivan captained the country’s mens basketball team at the Olympics, with their last game being on Sunday against China.

Unfortunately, despite the team featuring strong players such as Drew and NBA star Luol Deng, they failed to make it out of the group stage and into the final rounds.

But one positive note was the team secured their first Olympic win since 1948 when they beat China 90-58 in the final group game while there were also strong performances against some of the world’s best teams.

On Tuesday, Drew tweeted: “From everyone involved with GB basketball, thanks to all the fans for their support, it’s been immense.

“What an honour to wear the GB jersey.”

And while representing his country, he met The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, ahead of Team GB’s game with Russia.

Drew, a power forward, was delighted to help colleagues Robert Archibald and Nate Reinking sign off from the international stage with a win, saying: “I’m really happy for them. I’m getting a little emotional right now.

“Those are guys I’ve been friends with for so long. I’ve played with Nate and Rob not just at international level but club level too.

“The programme is losing two of the most professional people I’ve ever been around, but the good thing is we have guys capable of stepping up and taking their place in the team.”

Drew is now preparing to return home to Blyth, where he has lived the last six years with his wife Gemma and children.

The 32-year-old is one of only two players to remain from the inception of the Great Britain programme in 2006 and is the second most capped player for his country.

His career has taken him around the world, including five seasons at the Newcastle Eagles before joining Mersey Tigers in 2010 and last season signed up with Leicester Riders.

But the 6ft 10ins player almost never made it into basketball as he was a 100m and 200m runner at school until suffering a serious injury, then trying out basketball after coming across people playing it in a London park.

Drew, a bronze medallist with the England team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia, helps youngsters experience the sport through his coaching programme.

And two of his DS8 Clinics are due to take place in Newcastle on August 16 and 17.

For more information about Drew and his clinics visit his website www.drewsullivan8.com