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BORN and raised in Newham by his mother Natasha Hart MBE, Teddy Okereafor was destined for big things.
Initially, basketball had not been on the agenda for Okereafor. With football being the main sport in Britain, he, like most young boys and girls, would kick a ball around the park with his friends until one day, a trip to the park with his family became a life-changing moment for him.
“Playing football was kind of the norm when I was growing up. But then one day, we went down the park and we just started playing basketball. Some kids joined in and it took off from that moment.”
Basketball has taken Okereafor across the world, from playing and studying in the United States to competing against some of the very best in Europe.
Although feeling very blessed for all the sport has given him and enabling him to travel playing the sport he loves, there is simply nothing that quite beats being back at home, in Britain.
“It’s great being home after being away for so long. I’m closer to my family, got to spend Christmas with them. I’m enjoying being a part of the Bristol Flyers set-up. Although there are no fans, I’m still enjoying playing my game.
“I’m a London boy, born in Newham, so naturally playing in London would have been ideal but I have such a great relationship with the Flyers coaches and they have helped me settle back into life here in the UK.”
Okereafor is on course to achieve 200 assists for his country and equal the record of 49 consecutive appearances for Great Britain, equalling that of Bill Mcinnes in 1976.
“It’s such an honour to represent my country. To achieve those records will be special. It’s a team effort at the end of the day, so my main thing is to go out there and help the team win. Basketball has brought so much to my life.
“I’m so grateful for all it has given me. My mum and grandma have been such important role-models in my professional career and personal life. Two strong women. My grandma played in Russia and wore the No 5, so that is why I wear that number.”
Great Britain take on Germany on Saturday February 20, live from 3pm on LiveBasketball.Tv
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