One of British Basketball’s all-time greats accomplishes an unprecedented feat today (Monday) with Great Britain Men’s Basketball Captain Dan Clark notching his 117th cap for the team, surpassing the previous record of 116 held by Eric Boateng, as he gets set to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece at EuroBasket, and the basketball world has united to congratulate him on his achievement.
Clark made his debut for Great Britain in 2009, representing the national team at all five of their EuroBasket appearances as well as at the London 2012 Olympics, and has been a shining example for British Basketball at both international and club level. He is Great Britain Men’s all-time leader in points scored and rebounds made, and now adds the caps record to his unparalleled portfolio.
Reflecting on his accomplishment, Clark said:
“Great Britain Basketball has always been more about the team than me or any other individual involved in it, so it is hard for me now to sit here and celebrate an individual achievement to be honest, because I would trade them all in for the team to win something.
“It is something really special to me, of course, and I am really proud to be reaching this milestone. Ever since the first game in 2009 it has been a great journey, but this has never been the end goal to get to this point – I’ve just wanted to enjoy the journey and get as much out of it as possible.”
“Looking back, it is easy to remember certain games and moments in those games and there are lots of great moments, but the beautiful thing for me has been the journey I’ve shared with everybody.
“Playing for the National Team is the greatest pride you can have, especially representing the team at a EuroBasket or an Olympics Games.”
Ahead of Clark’s milestone, stars from across the world of basketball – including from the NBA and some of the biggest basketball teams on the planet – have come together to congratulate 33-year-old Clark on his achievement.
Former NBA All-Star and Great Britain International Luol Deng said:
“Dan, I’m here to say huge congratulations to you on getting 117 caps. It is an amazing accomplishment and all I can think of is back in the days when we were playing together. Who would’ve thought that you’d be playing for so long!?
“This is a testament to how much you love the game, how much you love your country and the work that you put in. I know we’re all proud of you but you should be so proud of yourself for this accomplishment. I can’t wait to see you and give you a huge hug because I’m super, super proud of you, brother!”
Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach and former Great Britain Men’s Head Coach at the London 2012 Olympics Chris Finch added:
“Dan, I just wanted to congratulate you on becoming the all-time caps leader for Great Britain. It is a remarkable accomplishment and I couldn’t be more excited for you. I’d also like to thank you personally for everything you gave to the programme, particularly when I was involved.
“Your performance at the Olympics, especially playing through a pretty severely sprained ankle, was really quite inspiring, so continued good luck, I’m rooting for you guys as always, and congratulations again.”
NBA-Championship-winning Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors and former Great Britain Men’s Assistant Coach Nick Nurse said:
“I just want to congratulate Dan Clark – one of the youngsters on the team in 2012 and even earlier as we spent four years getting ready to qualify and compete at the London 2012 Olympics.
“I want to congratulate you, Dan, on such an amazing accomplishment, becoming the most-capped Men’s player, and surpassing another great gentleman and great basketball player Eric Boateng in breaking this record, who was also part of things way back in the beginning.
“True credit to you, Dan, for your commitment to your country, your love of the sport, the passion with which you played, I am very proud of you as I know many, many are. You’ve touched many people’s lives in a positive manner and for that I thank you, congratulate you and wish you well.”
Atlanta Hawks Assistant Coach and former Great Britain Head Coach Joe Prunty said:
“Congratulations Dan, on breaking the record for the most Men’s caps. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 10 years since I first met you, and clearly you’ve had a few more games since then, which are all well-earned!
“Your commitment which, as evidenced by this achievement, is unparalleled and has been truly impressive to watch throughout the years. The discussions that we’ve had on how to improve British Basketball, how to build more grassroots programmes to encourage more and more kids to play, you’ve been a tremendous example of committing to the programme and sticking with it.
“It hasn’t always been easy, but you’ve continued to battle through. I’m proud of you, I’m happy for you, this is a tremendous accomplishment, and I know you’re going to go even further beyond just breaking the record, but that is a testament again to you and how you’ve handled yourself through the years. Congratulations, enjoy it, it is well-deserved and well-earned!”
Alberto Lorenzo, former Great Britain Men’s Head and Assistant Coach, noted:
“Finally, you have reached that number! From now on, you will be the Men’s British Basketball player with the most caps for his country. You must be so proud of that, as I am so proud of you. The important thing isn’t the number though, but the journey that you made to get there.
“You can finally say that you are finally right where you want to be, you are right where your mind and your heart have been working to take you for so long, so congratulations to you.
“Congratulations, Dan, and many thanks for the constant example of generosity and commitment to your country, and I am grateful to have shared some of this journey with you. From now on, your life is easier as it is only going to be about the next game now. I don’t know how many more, but you can purely just enjoy it.”
Spanish National Team Head Coach Sergio Scariolo added:
“I just wanted to join you in this special moment for Dan Clark. I had the opportunity to coach him for unfortunately just a shot period as he got injured when I signed him eight years ago for Saski Baskonia.
“That could have been a great turning point for his career, and although unfortunately bad luck meant we couldn’t work together as we’d wished, I can tell you that Dan’s reputation as a basketball player, as a great professional and a teammate has been one of the best I have ever heard of, so I hope you will enjoy this moment with your friends, teammates and family.
“I hope you also continue to enjoy basketball, because you still have a lot of great things to give to our sport. Take care and enjoy this moment.”
The Great Britain Men’s National Team are currently in competition at EuroBasket 2022 in Milan and will take on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s today (Monday) at 4pm BST, where Clark will win his 117th cap against the team led by the former NBA Champion and MVP. Watch the game live on courtside1891.basketball and use promo code ‘EUROGB25’ to save 25% on an annual pass.
Image courtesy of British Basketball Federation