06 - 09
February 2020
13 Johannah Leedham (GBR), CHN vs GBR
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Tearful Leedham claims Olympic ticket is about more than a trip to Tokyo

BELGRADE (Serbia) - It was visible just how much is at stake in the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifiers when a passionate Jo Leedham tearfully illustrated how taking a ticket for Tokyo has a much wider significance for basketball in Great Britain.

Speaking after an encouraging opener against China, even if they eventually came up short  86-76, the veteran was quick to underline how the team are fighting for more than just  their spot in the Japanese capital.

Taking into account some well-documented struggles off the court, Great Britain are battling to capitalize on a golden opportunity to cut through into the sporting mainstream in the UK and get more people playing and supporting the sport.

"I know I am speaking for all the girls in the group in that we are trying to inspire everybody and if we can just get this ticket to Tokyo, nobody will know how much this really means," said Leedham.

"It's just been such a ride. I just know where we've come from, what we've gone through and this ticket is just everything. When you are at the end of your career, it means even more. 

"If we can get that and inspire the next generation and keep basketball going in the UK and hopefully lift it and have more girls playing basketball and raise the level and get the support that we really need - that is what we are fighting for.

"We don't feel any pressure for that, but it is is ultimately what we want. So, if we can just inspire the next generation and the British people in general to get onto this sport that we all love so much, that would be the prize itself - obviously along with the ticket to Tokyo," she stressed. 

Watch the full press conference here: