About Author


Inspired by a childhood of watching American TV shows, Fiona jumped at the chance to join the school basketball club when the opportunity arose. Those idyllic lunch time practices were a welcome release from seemingly endless days of English, Maths and Geography. She went on to continue playing for Queen’s University Club and Varsity teams and still hasn’t left them. Fiona has been involved in various aspects of basketball life, acting as women’s Ulster League Convenor, statistician, coach, and player (though not all at the same time – she can multi-task, but that would be ridiculous).

Women’s Superleague: Ulster Rockets vs Team Montenotte

Ulster Rockets make a return to home this week for the first of the two remaining games of the regular season. Currently in fourth place in the Nivea Women’s Superleague with a playoff spot in sight, the Rockets will be looking to secure their position but could have their work cut out for them. Team Montenotte Hotel Cork are 12-2 for the season so far and have a significant inside presence that Rockets will be looking to address in this game.

TCC talked to Boston University alum, Caroline Stewart and Fionnuala Toner ahead of Saturday’s game.

Ulster Rockets take on Team Montenotte Hotel Cork in La Salle College, 6.30pm on Saturday 23rd February.

Queen’s Summer League 2012 – Week 1

There are a few signs that summer is approaching in Northern Ireland. The sky is bluer, birds are certainly more vocal and the rain warms up from being freezing to merely being tepid. For me, the most exciting sign that we’re heading to sunnier times is that the annual Queen’s Summer League tips off.

Sean Wynne continues his legacy in Summer League - Image from 2005

Friday 27th April saw a return to the court for many players who finished their season a month ago or more and are happy to be banded together for some craic and competition. The stakes are high. The possibility of winning a Summer League t-shirt and more importantly, the accompanying bragging rights, meant that some teams came to win on Friday. While everyone was eager to make a good first impression, two teams stood out as a force to be reckoned. Both the Bulls (yellow) and the Suns (light blue) came away with two wins and for now, can claim ‘undefeated status’. Sonics (red) struggled to field a team and suffered the consequences by chalking up 2 losses. They’ll have to look to drafting in some additional support if they’re going to get a win in week 2 [Ed- Rumour has it that Conor Johnston is in contract negotiations].

Highlight of Week 1
Superleague level refereeing from Paul Bullock

Lowlight of Week 1
Paddy McGaharan dressed like the Second Coming of Kobe

Summer League returns on Thursday night… check back for photos and Fiona Sullivan’s weekly highlight and lowlight.


5 Stages of Post-Varsities Blues

Recently Limerick played host to the 60th Basketball Varsities. The Courtside Collective would like to draw attention to an aspect of the tournament that is often swept under the rug… Post-Varsities Blues. Let us be a light in these dark, dark times as we take you through the 5 stages.


While some players experience this during Varsities (in particular if they believe the highly qualified referees have missed a call), it’s not unusual for a full scale meltdown to occur while preparing to rejoin normal society after the messiest weekend of the year. Warning signs to look out for include an unprecedented frustration at not being able to get all your gear back in your bag, despite the fact that you now only have approximately half of what you brought.


You’ve just pushed the human body to it’s maximum level of exhaustion. And then you played some basketball. Obviously you need to recover in the most efficient way, by eating your weight in chocolate, sleeping for 36-48 hours and watching The Lion King so you can cry without anyone judging you.

The Cure


After spending a glorious weekend playing, eating and generally living it up with your team mates, it’s only natural to miss waking up next to perhaps the only people in the world who can tell you what exactly happened last night. And where your shoes are.

Classic symptoms of post-varsities blues


We’ve all been there – the team is losing a key veteran player, someone who brings something special to the court and to the bar. The next logical step is to convince them that they should stop being so selfish and enrol for some Post Graduate study, for the good of the team.


The final stage of coping with life after Varsities, when you can look back on the good times you had, the shots you made on court and the sweet spin moves you made to the bar. A little like buying your coach a drink so that you get can get minutes the next day, going through the 5 stages is the price you pay for the Varsity experience. Same again next year.



24 second clock

Basketball is a game played to a clock, arguably more than any other sport. 5 seconds to in-bound a ball. seconds to get the ball out of the back court. 3 seconds to hang out in the key. The introduction of the shot clock changed the pace and score line of basketball world-wide.

24 seconds is the time you have to get a shot up; it’s all we need to show you what The Courtside Collective is about.



Find out more about the team and our mission.