About Author


Tony McGaharan

Co-founder of The Courtside Collective, Tony has been a player, scorekeeper, referee, coach and MC. A true fan of the game! In 2009, he coached women's basketball in Sweden for a season with the Umeå Comets ("Udominate"). He then returned home and worked with PeacePlayers International, which uses the game of basketball to bring young people together from divided communities. Tony has since joined Google and has worked in Dublin, Singapore, and now London. He is now working to create a new basketball league to provide a better basketball experience for ballers in central London and with the added goal of engaging young people in the sport.

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Belfast Star’s NEW Coach brings Euroleague experience

Jose Maria Berrocal is an experienced and talented coach from Spain

Jose Maria Berrocal is an experienced and talented coach from Spain

Belfast Star is rumoured to have signed an experienced Head Coach who has had experience coaching in the top Men’s Leagues throughout Europe. Adrian Fulton, who is now likely to become the assistant coach for the Belfast Star Senior Men’s team, has praised Jose Maria Berrocal for his professional approach to the game and is excited to welcome him into the Belfast-based club:

This is a fantastic opportunity for all the players in Star, from U12 right through to Senior. It is also a great boost to Irish basketball. [Jose] is a terrific guy and a tremendous coach, with two Euroleague titles from his time as an assistant coach with Barcelona. He will bring a professional approach to our basketball programme and I am sure we will all learn a lot from him. We are confident that Jose and his wife, Bet, will have a very enjoyable experience in Belfast.

Belfast Star logo

Jose Maria Berrocal will join Belfast Star as Head Coach for the 2013-2014 season

Jose Maria Berrocal will join Belfast Star as Head Coach for the 2013-2014 season





World Police & Fire Games Basketball in Belfast

WPFG 2013 Belfast

This week, the World Police and Fire Games will be taking place throughout the greater Belfast area. TCC is happy to have full details on the who, where, and when, of the basketball competitions both at 3v3 and 5v5. The 3v3 will take place in the Queen’s PEC from Thursday 1st August (10am) right through to Saturday 3rd August. The 5v5 will take place in the Valley Leisure Centre from Saturday 3rd August right through to Wednesday 7th August.

Check out the details below:

WPFG 3v3 2013 Belfast

WPFG 3v3 2013 Belfast

Click on link for full size image of the schedule for 5v5:

WPFG 5v5 2013 @ Valley Leisure Centre

WPFG 5v5 2013 @ Valley Leisure Centre


Galway Titans select new Div 1 Head Coach

New Head Coach for Titans Div 1 - Paul Freeman

New Head Coach for Titans Div 1 – Paul Freeman

Galway Titans have just announced that Paul Freeman has emerged as the successful candidate for the Head Coach position with the The Titans Div 1 Men’s Team for the 2013-2014 season.

Galway Titans

Coach Freeman is already looking out for players to boost his squad for the coming season and is equally anxious to continue the development of the young emerging talent from the U18 and U20 Squads.

Freeman has been with other successful Clubs including Superleague seasons spent with Limerick and Ballina before contributing to the unfolding Titans story. He acknowledge the great work of his predecessors, Coaches Murphy, Lynch, Coughlan, and more recently the developmental influences of Matt Lint and Jack Consodine, who have led their charges to successive National Finals.

Paul Freeman Dunk

Freeman throwing it down against Dublin Inter

Source: Galway Titans 

Irish ballers making a Breakthru at 76ers Camp

A team of Breakthru Basketball (BTB) coaches and players are currently Stateside at the Philadelphia 76ers Camp. Conor Gordon, co-founder of Breakthru Basketball, is coaching while one of BTB’s gym rats, Andrew Colfer (Killester U20 & Superleague), is a Camp Counsellor.

The Camp is located in Valley Forge Military Academy, which is about 30 mins outside Philly, and the Irish contigent are there for two full weeks.

Along with Gordon & Colfer is one of BTB’s regular hoop junkies, Robert Keenan. The 16 year-old is a 6’6 small forward for Killester, who is rumoured to have narrowly missed out on a place on Coach Paul Kelleher’s Irish panel.

“I’ve travelled over here to coach at camps in the US to learn new skills, drills, and to develop a network of contacts in America.” Gordon remarked.

Spot the 2-Time NBA Champion...

Spot the 2-Time NBA Champion…

BTB’s was set up by both Conor Gordon and Kevin Foley with the mission of developing intelligent skilled & ambitious basketball players. The goal is to work with the total player from athletic abilities to basketball to mind-set.

“As basketball is a second tier sport in Ireland we feel that it’s vitally important that players are immersed in a culture where basketball is a big deal. We want our young guys to experience how motivated the players are and how hard they work in the US. The biggest challenge is adjusting to the speed of the game and the athleticism, and aggression, of the other players.” – Conor Gordon

Campers listening to Malik Rose

Campers listening to Malik Rose

Rob Keenan, who has just come off a great performance at the camp having won both the freethrow and hot-shot competition, didn’t let the chance to compete and learn with the best in the USA pass him by:

“I have been working out with Breakthru for over a year now and so when I heard they were heading to the states I jumped at the opportunity to go. It’s been a great opportunity to test myself against my peers in America. The standard of the athletes here at the 76ers Camp is at another level and adjusting to the speed of play has been the biggest change from home.”

Plymouth Raiders continue to recruit Irish talent

Plymouth Raiders 2013

Oblate Basketball Club point guard, Alan Carroll Jr, heads to Plymouth Raiders Elite academy this August to join the other recent signings from Ireland through Players1st Sport Management. Academy Director Jay Marriott invited Alan and his parents over to Plymouth in early May to try out with the current squad.

“We had Alan train with the team for two days, after day one I knew I wanted to sign him up. I am looking for the complete package in terms of the players we want at the academy. We are looking for players with a high basketball IQ and Alan has this in spades.”

Marriott set up the academy last year and the programme has developed greatly over the past season.

“We competed in various leagues, both locally and nationally, and were beaten only once. It has been a phenomenal success so far and I am proud of our players and back room staff for their efforts.”

Carroll, who turned 16 in April this year, is a 6’0 point guard with a quick first step and a high percentage shot from beyond the arc.

Alan Carroll Jr Plymouth Raiders 2013


“I believe Alan will fit in really well with the elite team this season, he is a natural athlete with a willingness to listen and learn.” Marriott remarked.

Alan’s parents, Alan Sr. and Lorraine, made the trip over to Plymouth to check out the complete academy program. Alan’s father was immediately impressed with the set up:

“Lorraine and I have been involved with basketball all our lives. When we met Jay, we could tell he had a talent for coaching underage players. The training sessions were fast and dynamic and you could tell that his players had a high level of respect for him. Ten minutes after the session started Alan Jr. looked like he belonged in the squad. We think that this is a superb opportunity for Alan and the other young guys who have been recruited.”

Although it has been operating for only one season, the Plymouth Raiders Academy has already scored a major success with one of its Irish stars, Jordan Blount, who has recently signed to with the well-respected Gran Canaria academy for two years. Coach Marriott is confident that this is the first of many successes for the academy, “with athletes like Alan coming on board we are super excited for the new season.”

Source: Playersfirstsm.com

Hard-2-Guard inspired by USA trip

Hard-2-Guard ballers representing in PA, USA

Hard-2-Guard ballers representing in PA, USA

A group of 24 boys and girls (13 to 15 years-old) from Phoenix Basketball Club (Belfast) have travelled from Northern Ireland to Mount Aloysius Basketball Camp in Cresson, Pennsylvania. The invitation came from the College President Tom Foley. Tom has close links to Northern Ireland, as he worked with the Peace People in the late 70s and early 80s. Tom was a keen basketball player on the Belfast scene during that time and has fond memories of the friendships he made through the sport.

The Mount Aloysius camp runs from 8am to 4pm each day with 250 young players attending the camp. Head Coach of the camp, Lance Loya, integrated the Irish group into the local setup seamlessly. The trip has included several games with local High School teams, which have been competitive.

The visiting Irish players will travel onto Philadelphia this weekend to play Bonner and Mount Prendergast High School before returning home.

After observing how an American camp is run, Hard2Guard camp Director, Breda Dick, is intending to incorporate some of the ideas into this summer’s programme at Methody and La Salle colleges in Belfast. There are still some places available for each course.

Contact Breda Dick for more information at bredad@msn.com


Mount Aloysius College


Coach Kennedy


Enjoying the sun


Working on their handle



Wingfoot Summer League 2013

Wingfoot Summer League Captains 2013

This past week, TCC held a launch night to reveal the draft picks for the first-ever Wingfoot Summer League. The event was a huge success with around 40 people showing up to receive their T-Shirts and get a photo with their team captain. This year’s team captains (pictured above) are: Sean Wynne (Queen’s), Andrew Dolliver (Queen’s), Michael Campbell (Belfast Stormers), Fearghal Toner (Belfast Star), Mike Calo (Belfast Star), and Paddy McGaharan (Ulster Elks). The event has been organised to help further TCC’s mission ‘to raise the profile of the game of basketball on the Island of Ireland.

This year's teams.

This year’s teams.

The 2013 league format:

4 v 4        |       Games: 40 minutes          |        2 games per night         |         Running subs

•1 minute break between halves
•1x 30 second time-out given to each team
•Clock only stops during dead ball in the final 60 seconds of the second half

The 2013 league rules:

1 Referee         |          2 Table Officials           |         5 personal fouls       |               7 team

Point System:

1 free-throw = 2 points            |                 And1 = 3 points                 |              2’s and 3’s

•Each team must supply a Referee and two Table Officials during games off
•If a team does not comply, then that team will lose a point from the table
Week One:

Week 1 Summer League 2013

Women’s Pick-Up:

Don’t forget every Tuesday there will be Open Pick-Up for Women who have signed up! We will be offering a pay per session rate (£4) for the two- hours but we will cap the numbers at 16, with preference going to those players who have signed up for the entire programme. So, get down early to ensure you get a good run!

Details of the League & Pick-Up:

Queen’s PEC            |          Men’s League :   7pm – 9.30pm          |        Women’s Pick-Up:   7pm – 9pm

1. Tuesday, 2 July 2013

2. Tuesday, 9 July 2013

3. Tuesday, 16 July 2013

4. Tuesday, 23 July 2013

5. Monday 29 July 2013

6. Tuesday, 13 August 2013

7. Tuesday, 20 August 2013

8. Tuesday, 27 August 2013


Special Thanks:

We would like to thank our sponsors, Wingfoot, for supplying us with tremendously high quality gear for this league. Wingfoot will also be presenting the winners of the league with exclusive Wingfoot/TCC long-sleeve shooting shirts!

Wingfoot Authentic

Rip ‘n’ Run – Robinsons Roadshow 2013

Rip N Run Basketball

Looking back at my experience as a young player, one of my greatest regrets was never getting a chance to attend a sleep-away camp.

So back in 2007, when I was coaching in Aquinas Grammar School (Belfast), Coach Joe McAufield mentioned in passing that he might be able to get me a gig at Rip ‘n’ Run in Dublin. I practically begged him to get back to Adrian Fulton and let him know I wanted in. It wasn’t long until August rolled around and I learned exactly why Rip ‘n’ Run is arguably Ireland’s number one basketball camp.

Some of the highlights included:

  • Top quality coaches (Danny Fulton, Damien Kennedy, Kevin Foley, Paul Kelleher, Colin O’Reilly, Mairead McNally, Jessica Scannell… to name a few… and this list doesn’t even include the US and Spanish coaches…)
  • Hoops all day – the schedule is purposefully assembled with skill development early in the day and plenty of games in the evening
  • The Dance – Why is ‘the Dance’ featured in my highlights? Picture a a gym full of 100+ young ballers (and eager coaches) warming up to the Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, and Rip ‘n’ Run classics tunes such as, Crazy by Aslan and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Surprisingly, but impressively, with  routines choreographed and music DJ-ed by Camp Directors Adrian Fulton and Mark Ingle.
  • Diversity – Having coaches from all over the world enhances the learning potential for players and with a variety of players attending from across the different regions in Ireland, there is a a unique sense of community.
  • Coaches got to coach – Coaches were always in good form because they got to focus simply on how they would coach their sessions. There were no distractions because the directors made sure every other part of camp was taken care of. Then, late at night, the coaches got to hoop it up during staff pick-up games.
  • Players had fun improving their game – The young players were always ecstatic. Wouldn’t you be? These young players are in a safe place, making new friends, working on their game, and having a great time with other ballers from across Ireland.

I still get to hear about how great Rip ‘n’ Run is from my Queen’s U16 girls team. It really is a community and a tradition that continues to grow and get better with time.


This summer it looks set to be the best yet for Rip ‘n’ Run, coming off the back of an exciting Roadshow. The Robinsons Roadshow Tour Bus has been up and down the country hosting competitions and an array of fun basketball activities for young people throughout Ireland.

TCC: Why did the three of you start Rip ‘n’ Run? 

Mark Scannell: “The real reason we started Rip n run was that we all had worked many camps for other people throughout the country and felt with those experiences we could do it bigger and better. Mark [Ingle], Adrian [Fulton], and I, are located in different parts of the country. We saw a huge opportunity to get kids to travel from throughout Ireland, and even overseas. The kids that spend a Summer at Rip ‘n’ Run come away with lifelong friendships and the buzz of playing with, and against, teammates & opponents from rival schools and clubs.”

TCC: What do campers have to look forward to this Summer?

Mark Scannell: “The presence of Spanish coaches at Rip ‘n’ Run over the last 5 years has been a major attraction for our campers. These top quality guys bring a unique style of basketball into a fun environment. We are excited to have Jose Maria Berrocal back once again. He is a huge fan of our camp and we are grateful for his support of Rip ‘n’ Run.

TCC: Any other improvements to Rip ‘n’ Run for 2013?

Mark Scannell: “Too many to name! We have focused our energy on the outdoor courts, which have been revamped. We have also added breakaway rims and new court markings, which we hope will make for a great competitive atmosphere.”

Jose Maria Berrocal is an experienced and talented coach from Spain

Jose Maria Berrocal is an experienced and talented coach from Spain

In this video, Camp Directors, Mark Ingle and Mark Scannell, talk about what’s in store for Rip ‘n’ Run 2013 and Clodagh Scannell, currently playing basketball for Boston University, tells TCC who her favourite Rip ‘n’ Run coach is. Megan Hoffman, former Adams State (Colorado, USA) player, shares her excitement for this unique camp experience.



Rip N Run Irish Daily Star Mark Ingle

Mark Ingle (Right) showing off the Rip ‘n’ Run vests sponsored by Macron and the Irish Daily Star


Coaching at Rip ‘n’ Run remains one of my favourite basketball experiences. Even thought I’ve spent the past three summers coaching camps in the USA, I hope that one day I’ll get that that call again from from Adrian.

Are you interested in attending a sleep-away Summer Camp? Then maybe Rip ‘n’ Run is for you! Visit their website at www.ripnrun.com to find out more details and how to register.