Finland announce Eurobasket squad 28  august  2013
Finland head coach Henrik Dettmann announced on Tuesday the names of the 12 players that will represent the Nordic nation at EuroBasket 2013 that tips off next week in Slovenia.
The Finnish tactician opted to maintain the hard core of the team that turned heads in the 2011 edition of the show-piece European tournament.
Playing in the first EuroBasket since 1995, the Finns came within a whiff of clinching a place in the quarter-finals of the big event in Lithuania, eventually finishing in ninth place, their best result since 1967.
Sharp-shooter Petteri Koponen, who was the national team's leading scorer at both EuroBasket 2011 and during their Qualification Round campaign last summer, headlines Dettmann's list.
Koponen is joined on the team by nine more players that will make their second consecutive EuroBasket appearance, in Mikko Koivisto, Antti Nikkilä, Kimmo Muurinen, Shawn Huff, Gerald Lee Junior, Tuukka Kotti, Teemu Rannikko, 37-year-old veteran Hanno Möttölä and Sasu Salin who, at 22, is the youngest member of the squad.
Point guard Roope Ahonen and winger Samuel Haanpää are the two new additions to the team, when compared to EuroBasket 2011, and will make their first bow in a major tournament in Slovenia.
Finland will be one of the smallest teams in terms of size at EuroBasket 2013, with Nikkilä the only player to measure in at 2.10m of height.
Prior to the start of preparations, Dettmann was hoping that the 2.08m center Erik Murphy, who graduated from the University of Florida (NCAA) this year, would make his debut appearance with the senior national team of his mother's native country, adding size to the frontcourt.
Murphy did not join Finland in training camp and of course will not suit up for the team at the EuroBasket, but Dettmann none the less is satisfied with his team's composition.
"We have a fantastic group of motivated and committed players," the coach commented.
"Many thanks to all the players who were involved for their contribution to the national team and to Finnish basketball.
"Some have to stay at home but we are all one team."
Finland have looked to be on form during their warm-up games in preparation for the big event, with the downside that for sure this time around, and unlike in 2011, they will not have the element of surprise in their favour.
They were drawn in First Round Group D at the EuroBasket, together with Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Greece and Russia.