27 Jan 15
Already a valued cornerstone of Great Britain senior women's success, the influence of Azania Stewart is likely to increase even further when the team step out at EuroBasket Women 2015.
British Basketball has been in existence since December 2007, tasked with the objective of steering the Great Britain men's and women's basketball teams through to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Just a few months later in 2008, the senior men's team qualified for Division A of Eurobasket with players of world-class pedigree such as Luol Deng and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. British Basketball also launched its first high performance strategy to create a single coherent pathway to develop talented youngsters across Britain and to grow the game. In 2010, both senior GB teams qualified for EuroBasket 2011. The GB women went on to make history, in their first ever appearance, as they reached the second round of the championship, the furthest any GB team has gone in the competition.
In 2012, both men's and women's GB Basketball teams competed at the London Olympics for the first time since 1948. Playing in their first Olympic Games ever, the GB women were not able to register a victory but they won many admirers en route, giving a good account of themselves through some painfully narrow defeats against the world's elite. The GB men signed off their London 2012 campaign with their first Olympic victory since 1948, against China following a series of competitive clashes verses basketball's powerhouses.
In 2013, both teams continued their progression at EuroBasket. The GB women again reached the second round of Europe's top basketball championship and made history in delivering the best-ever finish for any Great Britain team at EuroBasket, with wins over Serbia Latvia and Croatia. The GB men produced morale-boosting wins over Israel and Germany and further cemented their place among Europe's elite. In addition, the GB U20 men's team showed the growing depth within British basketball by qualifying for Division A of the European Championship for the first time.