Israel looks to the future

Israel will name a 12-man squad for the Under 18 Future Stars International Junior Tournament at Kingston College from July 10-12.

Coached by Danny Franco, the squad is competing at the competition for the first time. They line up in a group alongside Russia, Lithuania and Italy.

Franco said: “The event is very important to the development of Israeli basketball as we lack high level international games. Our players need better competition than they get in the Israeli league.

“It’s a great honour for the team to be invited to this prestigious event. We like to compete and will do our best.”

Knowing a top-three finish in the group will see them qualify for the final 12, Franco said: “We’re in a very strong group and are clearly the underdogs. We don’t fear any of our opponents and won’t give up.

“We don’t have any superstars. We play as a unit to help in offensive and defensive situations. The fans will see a team fighting to achieve the best they can. We’re built on team spirit and inner thought.”

Franco has been working for the Israeli Basketball Federation for four years. He coached the Under 16s prior to working with the Under 18s. “It’s a big challenge to promote Israeli basketball. Football is the main sport in Israel but basketball is the most successful team wise.”

    Last updated: 11:45am, July 2 2009