Sweden Get Boost With Taylor

17 April 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

Jeffery Taylor (Sweden)
Jeffery Taylor last suited up for Sweden at the U20 European Championship Division B in 2008

Sweden have been quietly preparing for their first appearance at a EuroBasket since they hosted the 2003 edition of the tournament and received some very encouraging news on Wednesday.

On the same day that he will complete a very successful rookie season in the NBA with the Charlotte Bobcats, Jeffery Taylor confirmed that he will join the national team's training camp on 19 August, ahead of the big tournament in Slovenia.

Next September's EuroBasket will be the first time Taylor suits up for the senior team, as he last played for Sweden at the U20 European Championship Division B in 2008.

"It will be incredibly fun to represent Sweden again," the 2.01m wing player, who turns 24 in May, told the official website of the Swedish Basketball Federation.

"To play with the national team against the best opposition in Europe is something I have looked forward to for a long time, it's great that everything has been resolved," he added.

"It's very good that Jeffery, one of our 'poster boys', wants to join the team and play [at the EuroBasket]," commented Swedish team manager Jonte Karlsson.

"It gives us much better options and makes our team look more exciting.

"This proves that the trips that I and (Swedish Federation) chairman Hans von Uthmann have made to the United States were valuable."

The Bobcats did not qualify for the play-offs, but Taylor had a very promising first season in the NBA.

He was a starter in 29 out of the 76 games he featured in (before the final game of the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers) and averaged 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.8 assists per contest.

"It feels very special to have played out my first season in the NBA," Taylor said.

"Whatever you do, whoever you talk to and however you prepare yourself, you cannot understand what it means to play in this league.

"Playing an entire season at the highest level is incredibly demanding, first physically, but even more mentally.

"Now I know what I need to work on, I know what is required of me."

Taylor will spend some time at home after the end of the Regular Season, before returning to the USA already in May for individual training; he will then play in the NBA summer league with Charlotte.

"After that I will have time for a short holiday and relax, so I'll be well prepared for the national team when we meet in August," he said.

Sweden are hoping that Taylor will not be the only NBA player on their roster in September.

The role of Jonas Jerebko, the Detroit Pistons forward, was absolutely paramount in their qualifying campaign for the EuroBasket, as he led the team in scoring (20.3 ppg), rebounds (6.6 rpg) and steals (1.9 spg) last summer, when they clinched second place in Qualification Round Group B, behind Germany.

"We have had a good dialogue with both Jonas and Detroit," explained Karlsson.

"Jonas wants to play and I expect that he will do so.

"But we have some practical details left to resolve before everything is 100 percent confirmed."

Sweden were drawn in First Round Group D at the EuroBasket and will face Turkey, Russia, Greece, Italy and Finland.


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