Basketball: England rue loss as Sullivan returns to US

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The Independent Online

The England coach Peter Scantlebury has lost his most influential player from the summer's first series of training camps and friendly internationals after Newcastle Eagles' 6ft 5in forward Andrew Sullivan said he was returning to his alma mater, the American university Villanova, to develop his game.

The England coach Peter Scantlebury has lost his most influential player from the summer's first series of training camps and friendly internationals after Newcastle Eagles' 6ft 5in forward Andrew Sullivan said he was returning to his alma mater, the American university Villanova, to develop his game.

Sullivan, a Londoner, was voted the BBL's best non-American player in the season that finished last weekend with his club winning the play-off final, in which he became the first British participant to win the Most Valuable Player award.

Sullivan, who has been critical of the lack of funding for the England programme leading to next March's Commonwealth Games, has ruled himself out of the training camp in Sevenoaks beginning on Tuesday week, next month's training camp in Portugal and internationals against Scotland, Luxembourg and Portugal.

Further internationals are planned against Estonia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Netherlands and Portugal in July and August.

Sullivan said: "It is possible I will link up with England later this summer. But for now I am best served returning to America and working out with my old college where I know there is a tried and tested set-up."

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