Herbert has struggled with his decision to drop long-time captain Benzing from the provisional line-up for the home European Championships.

Basketball national coach Gordon Herbert has struggled with his decision to drop long-time captain Robin Benzing from the provisional line-up for the home European Championships (1-18 September).

“To be honest, it was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make as a coach,” “I didn’t sleep for a few days beforehand to figure it out.”

He would have “loved nothing more than to have Robin on this team and for him to finish his career with EuroBasket in Germany,” Herbert said. According to the 63-year-old, this had also been Benzing’s wish.

Benzing with injury

Herbert cited an injury that had plagued Benzing in the summer as one of the reasons for the removal. “At the beginning of June, he informed me that he had a persistent injury in the pelvic/groin area,” the national coach said.

After his time off, Benzing then “didn’t start training again until two weeks before our preparation start in August, which affected him.”

The withdrawal was “a sporting decision”. Benzing had understood the coach’s reasoning, “but was of course disappointed”.

The captain played his 167th game in the national jersey in the victory over the Netherlands in Almere on Friday evening. After the match, Kenneth Ogbe (Oldenburg) and Leon Kratzer (Bonn) were also removed from the German Basketball Federation (DBB) squad.