Cheshire Phoenix duo Teddy Okereafor and Ben Mockford will feature in Great Britain Men’s crucial FIBA World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Monday.

The Phoenix pair are two of the most experienced members of GB’s 24-man squad for the upcoming clash.

Okereafor will be hoping to receive his 52nd international cap, the fourth highest total in the squad, while Mockford currently has 45.

Okereafor was GB’s key man in their last game against Greece. The Nix guard was their top scorer with 19 points and shot a perfect four for four from the three-point line.

He also added four rebounds, three assists and a game high three steals in an eye-catching performance as GB recorded a 78-69 victory over the side ranked 10th in the world.


The victory was Britain’s first against Greece since 1984 and capped a run of 12 wins in 15 games stretching back to the 2018-19 season.

However, an 84-67 defeat to Turkey in Istanbul has left them with a 50% record. GB are currently bottom of their group in the first round of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

The loss has placed added importance on the visit of group leaders Belarus to the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle.

Ahead of the game co-captain Dan Clark said: “Every time the GB teams come together we know it’s a huge opportunity not just to raise the profile of basketball in the country, but also to inspire future generations.

“The Men’s team are in an unprecedented run of great form and we’re working hard to add to that in this current window against Belarus.

“We know they are going to be a very tough team to play against, but we’ve had great results in Newcastle recently and we hope to keep that going in front of a fantastic crowd.

“British basketball is growing all the time, and you can see that in the level of talent in our senior squads.

“All of our players and staff are conscious of our responsibility in raising the profile of basketball in the UK, and we take pride in being able to play our part in growing the game.”

Maksim Salash will be the danger man for Belarus having averaged 21.5 points in their opening two fixtures.

Artsiom Parakhouski will also be one to watch. The centre has averaged 15.5 points and 12 rebounds per game during the qualifiers so far.

The away leg was due to be played on Friday 25th February, but has been postponed. British Basketball confirmed the squad would not travel to Minsk due to the threat of military action in the area.

In a statement regarding the decision Clark said: “We are happy that the welfare of the travelling group has been put first… we look forward to working with FIBA to deliver a practical solution as soon as possible”.

Featured image credit to Murdeigh under creative commons license 4.0.