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Newy ref only Aussie in role at 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup

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When the first whistle sounds, signalling the start of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup later this month, there’ll be more than 32 different accents on the courts that span five host cities, across 17 days. 

When it comes to calling the shots however, there will be just one with an Aussie twang – Newcastle Basketball’s Scott Beker. 

The 48-year-old New Lambton man has been named one of the 44 referees from around the world to officiate at the annual global tournament. 

He is the only Australian to score the job. 

“It’s a selection-based appointment, with the selections being made from FIBA HQ in Geneva,” Beker explains. 

The 31 July announcement adds to his already impressive score sheet. 

Last year he represented his hometown at the 2022 Tokyo Games

At the time he had refereed more than 300 National Basketball League (NBL) games, a string of World Cups, University Games and the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

“The last couple of years have been successful for me with the Tokyo Olympics, Under 17 World Cup in Spain and the Women’s World Cup in Sydney last year,” he says. 

“I guess those performances put me in the frame for this year’s Men’s World Cup.” 

Scott Beker. Photo: Peter Stoop.

Beker will leave Australia for Manila on 18 August.  

“We fly into Manila for a preparation camp and then to one of the host countries – Philippines, Indonesia, or Japan – for the actual competition,” he said. 

“I know I won’t be in Japan because that’s where the Australian Boomers will be playing.” 

As yet, he has not been told which games he’ll be refereeing at the competition that runs from 25 August to 10 September. 

“We don’t know which games or how many until the competition starts,” Beker said.

“And, then it’s all performance based from there.” 

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup is the 19th tournament for men’s national basketball teams. 

This event will be the first World Cup to be hosted in Indonesia, and the second to be hosted in both the Philippines and Japan with both having first hosted the tournament in 1978 and 2006, respectively. 

“I’m feeling really positive about the World Cup,” Beker says. 

“Any international appointment is exciting but when it’s the flagship event for the sport, and being the only Australian selected, it carries a bit more excitement and I can’t wait to get into it.” 

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