Search

Olympic taste whets San Antonio Spurs’ youngster’s appetite

05:54 21 August 2011

Ryan Richards playing for Great Britain at Olympic test event this week

Ryan Richards playing for Great Britain at Olympic test event this week

Copyright (C)Mansoor Ahmed Photography 2010

A former Kent Crusaders basketball player was one of the first to play competitive sport at the Olympic Park after making his debut for the senior Great Britain basketball team.

Ryan Richards, 20, made his bow against France on Tuesday, which was part of the London Invitational Tournament.

Involving six nations, it ends on Sunday with Britain against Australia and is the first test event held on the Park ahead of next summer’s Games.

Sittingbourne’s Richards, who made headlines last year when he was drafted to NBA franchise San Antonio Spurs, was impressed with the temporary venue, which will be dismantled and sold after the Olympics.

“It’s an amazing arena, it’s just a shame it will be sold off,” he said. “It doesn’t feel temporary whatsoever, it’s a great experience to play there and get into the men’s programme for the first time.

“Playing in the Olympics is one of my main career goals and to do it not far from where I grew up would be fantastic.”

Richards, who played as a junior for the Canterbury-based Kent Crusaders, is confident of making the cut when the squad is trimmed from 15 to 12 for the EuroBasket finals in Lithuania later this month.

Richards is hoping strong performances for the national side will also be well received on the other side of the Atlantic after a frustrating first year at San Antonio.

He spent the majority of the first year in Texas on the sidelines recovering from two operations to repair a shoulder injury.

The 6ft 11ins forward is expecting to spend at least the first part of next season on loan to a club in Europe, but is eager to prove himself at the highest level as quickly as possible.

He said: “I’ve spent most of my time since moving to San Antonio in rehab, getting healthy and learning about the game. It was a tough season but I’m enjoying being part of one of the best franchises in basketball.

“Coming from Sittingbourne to where I am now I’m just grateful really. I have my friends and my mum to keep me grounded and humble.

“I’ll probably be coming back to Europe to start with next season to prove myself. I just want to show I have what it takes to help the Spurs win.”

Photo by MANSOOR AHMED

0 comments

Other popular content

Fri, 12:48
Video reaches us everywhere

With every exposure to such shocking footage, so our sensitivity levels are reduced...and that’s a real concern

Fri, 12:39
Edmund Blackadder. Let's consign him to history.

Too wonderful to sully, should Edmund, Percy, Baldrick and co remain undisturbed despite talk of a new series?

Friday, August 21, 2015
Ricky Arnold

‘Prison best place for him’ says investigating officer after video game theft court appearance

Friday, August 21, 2015
Students

Over 170 young people are affected by the decision to pull its courses

Most Read

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Kent CCC logo

Spitfires hoping to fly high after recent defeats

Read more
Alex Blake
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Hero Shakey will be back in action

Defending champion is second in table and looking for first win since April

Read more
Monday, June 15, 2015
Justin Edinburgh

Striker arrives at Priestfield on a two-year deal

Read more
Cody McDonald
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jane Clayton

Jane Clayton picked up the medal in the women’s epee event

Read more
France
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Kent's Sam Billings

23-year-old wicketkeeper is only uncapped member of England squad

Read more
Sam Billings
Kent's trusted business finder

Digital edition