Nate Reinking is not concerned by Byron Mullens selection battle

By Jessica CreightonOlympic sports reporter
Nate Reinking
Nate Reinking

Great Britain basketball guard Nate Reinking is not concerned about NBA star Byron Mullens potentially being added to the Olympic squad.

British Basketball are awaiting a decision from the sport's governing body on whether Mullens will have naturalised or non-naturalised status.

Only one naturalised player is allowed - currently Reinking for Britain.

"There's going to be people come out of the woodwork with passports, but I can't worry about that," Reinking said.

United States-born Reinking, 38, currently combining studying for a Masters and playing full-time with the Sheffield Sharksexternal-link in the British Basketball League,external-link is one of only two players to have been with the British team since it was overhauled in readiness for the Olympics in 2006.

Seven-foot centre Mullens, who plays for NBAexternal-link side the Charlotte Bobcats,external-link has only recently confirmed his eligibility to play for Great Britain after announcing that he held a British passport.

"At the end of the day it's a business," Reinking said. "I've been in this game a long time and you've got to be professional.

"I don't feel I have to prove anything. I've been with the team since day one, they know what I can do and what I bring to the squad."

A decision on Mullens's status is expected next month before the start of the Olympic training camp, which begins on 11 June in Houston USA.

The camp will provide a chance for both men to stake their claim for inclusion in head coach Chris Finch's final team, to be announced in July.

He and Mullens may have to fight it out, but Great Britain performance director Chris Spice said the team "are very used to people coming in".

"The great thing about our squad is we tend to find new talent each year," he said.

"The great strength we've got is that the team pretty much buckle up and get on with it.

"It will be down to the coaching staff to look at the balance of the squad and who brings what to the team.

"As with any selection issue, if you bring in a quality player then there's people that may miss out. That's something all teams have to deal with."

British Basketball recently announced a 21-strong preliminary squad, which Spice believes is their strongest ever.

"We've got better depth in the team than ever before," he added. "Everyone thinks we're the quiet sleeper of the [Olympic] tournament that could cause an upset."