Team GB Basketballer Savannah Wilkinson aims to inspire generation of girls in sports

Team Great Britain Forward Savannah Wilkinson wants to motivate the next generation of women’s basketball players after their heartbreaking loss against Sweden.

It was a disappointing result for Team GB who lost 64-62 to Sweden in the qualifiers for Eurobasket 2025 on Thursday night. 

But players had a chipper attitude about the loss, Wilkinson explained they just have to win by three points when they play Sweden again in November next year to make up for the defeat. 

Prior to the game GB Basketball invited a group of school children to the National Basketball Centre on Friday to practise some Basketball with Team GB players. 

For the team this was an important moment for the future of basketball.

Wilkinson said: “That’s why we all play basketball to inspire the next generation, so to have so many young kids out here getting autographs was so awesome.

“Not only for general basketball but women’s basketball specifically, we want to get girls playing basketball.”

The forward joked that she wants more girls to play basketball instead of other women’s sports ‘not naming names but girls should play basketball instead.’

The crowd was undeniably electric as they rallied behind Team GB at the National Basketball Centre.

Image courtesy of British Basketball

It was a special atmosphere in the place the team call home. 

Team GB players wore jerseys, created in collaboration by Power Forward Chantelle Handy and Northern- Quarter artist Sasha Ray, thanking Manchester for its support over the years. 

Wilkinson explained how much the support means to players. 

She said: “Yeah it’s wicked, I mean I expected it to be a good crowd because it’s Manchester and there’s always great support. 

“It was really lively and there was a guy with a drum that we all signed, the energy was great and that was kind of the 6th man that kept us in the game for sure.” 

Centre Kirsty Brown agreed with Wilkinson about the impact fans have on players on the court. 

She said: “ We fed off the energy, shout out to all the fans who came out. It was a major boost for us.”

Team GB head to Tallinn on Sunday to play Estonia in another qualifier for Eurobasket 2025. 

Brown vowed to learn from the mistakes they made in their match against Sweden ahead of Estonia.

She said: “We can see what mistakes we made and we will really focus on them in the next couple days before we head to Estonia, and just be ready to go.”

After their match against Estonia, Team GB wont play again until November 2024 as there is no February international window this year.

Main image courtesy of British Basketball

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