WORCESTER Wolves boss Paul James believes Great Britain’s national basketball teams face “disaster” if there is no change to the way funding is allocated to different sports.

Basketball is one of the biggest participation sports in the country for youngsters but it does not receive any money from UK Sport.

The decision to cut funding was made in 2014 as GB were not seen capable of winning medals at future Olympics.

But James felt team sports should be treated differently and reckoned British Basketball’s sides were being “set up to fail”.

With concerns increasing over the future of basketball at elite level, Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch will hold an “emergency summit” this week to address the funding crisis.

“There is no way I am happy with the situation,” James said.

“I think team sports need to be looked at very differently to individual sports.

“In basketball you can only win bronze, silver and gold at an Olympics or World Championships whereas in swimming there are so many medals you can go for.

“Basketball is the second most played sport in the country and yet the funding does not reflect that so something is fundamentally wrong. It needs to be addressed.”

James coached Great Britain’s under 23s side between 2010 and 2012.

Wolves ace Robert Gilchrist was also named in the senior team who lost to Israel and Greece in the FIBA World Cup 2019 qualifiers last month.

“Leading up to the Olympics 2012, they actually got some decent funding,” James continued.

“I saw them go from being in Group C to now playing in Group A of the World Championships so there has been progression but the funding has been in place for them to get there.

“Taking that funding away is only going to lead to disaster as we might go from Group A to Group C again.

“I read that Team GB had to cancel training camps because they did not have the money.

“There is a saying that if you don’t prepare properly you are preparing to fail.”

With no UK Sport funding, Sport England agreed to provide £1.18milllion to British Basketball to support the men’s and women’s and under 20 international sides until March 2017.

It was then given a further £150,000 to help it fulfil its forthcoming fixtures.

But Sport England’s support is conditional on the governing body finding alternative investment.

A spokesperson from Sport England said: “We are disappointed to hear that British Basketball has not able to secure private sector funding to support the sport at the elite level.”

The spokesperson said they recognised the “significant value” of basketball and confirmed they were committing more than £6million to support the grassroots game and to develop talented athletes.

A spokesperson for UK Sport said its government-approved remit was to fund sports with the “best prospect of winning medals”.

And they said basketball “has not provided evidence to date” that it could do so at Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024 although they admitted this would be “under review”.

Lisa Wainright, chief executive of British Basketball, said the country’s eight senior and age-group teams would be wound up unless they received £1million.

MP Crouch admitted more needed to be done to fund basketball.

“Basketball is an incredibly important sport,” she said.

“It does a great deal of social good, it inspires people in very urban communities to participate in sport and it's important that they do see a pathway into being able to represent the country.

“And with that in mind I am hosting an emergency summit to try to bring all the parties together so that we can have some sort of solution to the issue around funding.”