He embodies the spirit of the Great Britain Men’s National Team with his gritty performances and no-nonsense attitude on the court for his country, and tomorrow Ben Mockford gets the reward his efforts GB deserve as he is set to notch his 50th appearance for the team as GB return to EuroBasket action.
Only 11 players in the 74-year history of the Great Britain Men’s National Team have reached that 50-cap milestone (Eric Boateng, Dan Clark, Kieron Achara, Drew Sullivan, Kyle Johnson, Nate Reinking, Andrew Lawrence, Gareth Murray, Ogo Adegboye, Teddy Okereafor and Myles Hesson), with Mockford the latest in a trio of stars able to notch their half-centuries at EuroBasket, following Hesson’s accomplishment against Ukraine and Gabe Olaseni in line to make the 50 against Estonia.
Speaking ahead of Monday afternoon’s showdown with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Greece where Mockforrd will win his 50th cap, he said:
“It means a lot to me. There is a huge amount of pride that goes into playing for Great Britain from my side, for sure. Just to get one cap for your country is a big deal, so to now be at this stage and about to get a 50th, I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.
“Hopefully I’ve done my family and my friend proud! Tomorrow against Greece is going to be tough but I just have a sense of pride, really. My first one was against Latvia in 2014 and you never know then how far it is going to go, but thanks to my teammates and coaches who have trusted me along the way I’m here now.
“I’ve played every kind of role for GB, from no minutes to starting, so it has been a rollercoaster but I’ll never forget it. You come from your club team and your role is different – you may be a star at your club, but when you get here you’re amongst stars – so I’ve enjoyed my role of being tough, gritty, bringing that energy to the team, and I’ve done my best to deliver that.
“I have so much pride to play for this team. We’re playing for each other, our staff and the country. Dan (Clark) is on another level with his caps, of course, and I’m just happy with my 50 as I’m coming to the end of my international career, but I think I’ve done a good job and I think Dan’s record will be tough to beat.”
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