10 - 19
August 2017
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Mortensen hopes fast Denmark can grow popularity of game back home

BROENBY (FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B) - Andreas Mortensen believes the level of basketball in Denmark is higher than many imagine. The guard is hoping to raise its popularity further, with strong results at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B.

Denmark have played at U16 Division A level twice over the last seven years - in 2010 and 2014. Mortensen said making it back to the top flight again is the ultimate goal for the country heading to Sofia.

"I think it's great for Denmark that we show that we can play on the highest level in Europe, and a goal that we will keep pushing to achieve again," said Mortensen, who will be making his international debut in Bulgaria.

The 5ft 11in (1.81m) guard said Denmark, who will face Bulgaria, Cyprus, Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine in Group B, will focus on playing their own style.

"Our goal for this summer is to play the way we play - play hard and and make sure that we stay focused. If we can do that, I know for sure that the results will come," said Mortensen, who plays for BMS Herlev. "One of our strengths is playing hard defense. I think if we play hard team defense we can get really far. Playing aggressive at both ends as a team leads to very good offense."

Denmark is beginning to produce better talent, which one can see when you look at the senior national team. There are Danish internationals in Italy's first and second divisions, as well as the second divisions in Germany and Spain and the top flight in Slovenia. Denmark also knocked off Germany in triple overtime and Austria in the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers.

"I think the level here in Denmark is high," Mortensen said. "Here in Denmark we play very fast and shoot a lot. The physical level could be higher, but I would describe Denmark as being a very good basketball country. But there is still a lot that we can improve upon as a country."