Kieron Achara Named to British National Team

Tuesday, the British Basketball Federation named Duquesne's Kieron Achara to Great Britain's 33-man squad for their EuroBasket campaign later this year.

About 15-20 players will be selected for a training camp later in the Spring to prepare for September's EuroBasket qualifier against Israel, Czech Republic and Bosnia.

The winner of that group will qualify for the 2009 European Championship in Poland. Basketball's world governing body, FIBA, has ruled that a British team must qualify for the 2009 or 2011 Europeans in order to play at the 2012 Olympics.

British Basketball performance manager Ron Wuotila, a Duquesne director of basketball operations during the during the 2002-03 season, told the Associated Press:

    "The prospects are bright for our senior teams this summer due to the talent included on these squad lists. There are a number of younger players on the list who can contribute in the near term and are embarking on a 10-to-15-year career that will ideally include years of British representation."

Achara, who was named to the Great Britian team last summer, already has a few years of international experience playing on Scottish National Teams.

Since he was not selected to the final 12-man squad that took on Slovakia, the Netherlands, Albania and Belarus in late August, Achara got some early time with this season's Duquesne team in the four-game Labor Day stint in Canada.

Achara (Stirling, Scotland / Maine Central Institute) was named the 2008 Atlantic 10 Conference's Student-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, and to the All-Academic Team for the third time. In 2004-05, Kieron was named the Atlantic 10's most improved player following his sophomore season.

Achara is 19th on Duquesne's all-time scoring list with 1,240 points and second with 185 career blocks. Achara played 115 games, which ties him for second on Duquesne's all-time list.

This past season, as an integral member of Duquesne's first winning season (17-13) since 1993-94, Achara averaged 11.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 19.1 minutes per game. Even with a couple post-game oral surgery sessions following blows to his mouth, Kieron played in all 30 games.

LINK: Complete list of 33 men's basketball selectees - 27 of the 33 played ball in the U.S.

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