Congratulations to all twenty-four All-Star nominees for the Belfast All-Stars panel and a special thanks to all of our followers who participated in the ballot. It is thanks to you that we now have our final roster for the first ever All-Star event in Northern Ireland. We look forward to seeing you all there and don’t forget to get your tickets before it’s too late. They can be purchased online (click here).
The Courtside Collective is proud to present the 2012 ESPN NI
Rory Leddy ONeill (Queen’s Hornets)– This ginger haired, bandana wearing, Michael Rappaport look-a-like, has provided the Hornets with fantastic leadership all year long. Rory is a deceptive and crafty player with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. His high basketball IQ enables him to be effective at any position and with a good post-up game and a lights out mid-range shot, he proves to be a tough match-up for many defenders.
Marc Mulholland (Andersonstown Tigers) – The Captain of the Andytown Tigers has been in consistent form throughout the season. A ‘Glue type’ player who does what is needed, when it is needed, he was instrumental in a number of the Tigers wins at the end of this season notably vs Belfast Star and North Star pulling out some strong defensive plays and hurting teams with his 3 Point range averaging 14 ppg.
Michael McKillop (Belfast Star PL) – McKillop has range and he will shoot it from anywhere, he even scores sometimes as well! McKillop is a solid defender and often guards American imports for the Superleague squad. He has good hands around the basket and if you want a slippery offensive board he is the man to deliver.
Darryl Shazier (Ulster Elks) – a member of the 2011 Patriot League winners, Bucknell, Darryl has made quite an impression on the league this year. As a member of the Elks, Darryl had to re-adjust to a role that he was less familiar with; a scorer. He has surpassed the expectations of many, putting up several 40+ point games and leading the league in the scoring category. Much of the Elk’s success is due to Darryl’s poise and ability to control the pace of the game. He is able to shoot from anywhere on the court and is an extremely strong finisher when going to the basket.
Gert Celms (Down Tropics) – Gert Celms, undoubtedly one of the best players in the league this year, has been a consistent threat all season for the Down Tropics. His outside shooting touch and ability to get to the basket has seen him put up some monster games. What’s more impressive is his ability to get his team mates involved by drawing the defense in with his penetration and hitting them with crisp passes for wide open shots.
Scott Summersgill (Belfast Star SL)– Scottie is a veteran guard but still has the energy and quickness of a teenager. Diminutive in stature but a huge player on the court, Scottie leads both by example and through constant talking and communicating with his team mates. Summersgill has great handle and his low centre of gravity and speed allows him to penetrate with ease where he can finish in traffic and also find an open teammate.
Conor McElroy (Queen’s Hornets) – This young fella has a lot to be proud of this year. Hailing from small town Omagh, Conor has been able to establish himself as one of the quickest guards in the leagues this year and constantly has defenders on their heels as he attacks the basket on the fast break with conviction. He has improved his ability to knock down the 3-point shot and under the guidance and mentoring of ex-National League player, Simon McDade, Conor has shown drastic improvements as the season has progressed.
Fionntan O’Connor (Belfast Star PL) – Coach McGrattan has stated that Fionntan is a delight to coach and a delight to watch play ball, unpredictable, athletic and has found some range from behind the arc this year. His length and ability to keep up with guards makes him an excellent defender who can guard any position on the floor, the sort of player every team would want.
Audrius Cesconis – 6ft 6ins of Lithuanian lean raw talent. Audrius has been consistent throughout the Tigers Season averaging a 22 PPG, His presence and athleticism inside allows him to crash the boards consistently being the leading rebounder on the Tigers team. He has also been known to use his Athleticism to dunk at every opportunity.
Stephen Dawson – “Dawsy” is one of the quickest players in Northern Ireland and can use his speed to devastating effect. A one man fast break Dawsy can also knock down open jumpers and weave through traffic to finish in the half court. His speed also helps him pick up steals and when he does you can just mark the two points down in the book as no one will be catching him in the open court.
Paddy McGaharan – Paddy is a combo guard and has been a leading scorer for the Elks this season. The former Irish underage international is one of the best mid-range shooters in the league and has an excellent pull-up jump shot. McGaharan also has a solid handle and a quick first step which enables him to beat his man and get to the basket.
Mike Calo – When Mike first stormed the Northern Irish scene many moons ago, it was his overwhelming confidence and charismatic demeanour which helped him fit right in the basketball culture. Mike has played for a number of teams such as Queens, Lisburn, Jordanstown, and most recently, Down Tropics. Mike prides himself on his ‘step-back jumper’ and is well known for his trash talking. Some examples of which have been highlighted in earlier TCC articles. I am sure you can expect the same in the lead up to the All-Star Game now that he has been selected.
To see the N.I All-Star team, click here or to book tickets for the event, click here.