GB vs Team USA Basketball Diary

Saturday 17:27

  • Just when I thought it was over, I pulled myself back in . .. Sorry but I had to bring back the diary for two very important notes:
  • 1. Forgot to mention that we met John Amaechi after the game in Manchester City center and he was an absolute gentleman, I have a signed John Amaechi Orlando Magic shirt and we both agreed that it was now worth a small fortune. How did I get a signed John Amaechi Shirt I hear you all ask? Well, since you are asking, I won a competition on back in 2001/2002 – click here for the winning story!
  • 2. If you haven’t checked out the Phantom Camera video of the GB v USA game then why the hell not! It is below and it is amazing!



Friday 13:53

  • Home! Sleep deprived once again and about to catch up on sleep but just posting this last diary entry before I do.
  • Check out the video interview with Melo below, The video featuring highlights from the game and keep up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook and the blog for much more content over the next week.



Thursday 23:43

  • Wow – Great two days – Great action, coaching insight and interviews. As expected Team USA put on an exhibition in the men’s game and I’m hyped to see them in the Olympics.
  • Given GBs back court struggles can’t help but wonder if Devon Van Oostrum would have done a bit better?
  • Got interviews with Chandler, Durant (below),Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Melo, Pops, Deng, Geno, Taurasi, Parker, Maya Moore, Jim Boeheim, Harden, Iguodala and Anthony Davis.
  • Got some great photos too which will be gradually uploaded over the next week or so.
  • We hope to keep doing what we are doing and every single Facebook/Youtube/Twitter/Website hit/like/comment/retweet really helps! Help spread the word about TCC and we hope to expand and improve what we do!
  • Check out the Kevin Durant interview below, he obviously didn’t want to stick around much after the game and we were the only people that he spoke to. It’s short and sweet but much better interviews to follow so keep checking back!


Thursday 19:31

  • If you just clicked on that link why are you even reading this – the game is on! More updates AFTER the game!

Thursday 17:51

  • Serious Buzz in arena as players start to warm up.
  • James Harden came out over two hours before tip and got in 30 mins of shooting on his own and when I say on his own I mean with two guys just standing there rebounding for him.

Thursday 17:03

James Harden ready to go! [blackbirdpie url=”″]

Thursday 16:30

  • Diana Taurasi video now online – check it out below and hear what she thinks about Ireland, Belfast and David Gray!
  • Marc Mulholland after a “wee powernap” arrived and got some great photos and videos. All content will be uploaded on the website and Facebook over the next few days so keep checking back.
  • In the arena for Labryinth’s sound check, if I hear “Earthquake” one more time my head may explode! Looks like a much better half time show than Alexandra Burke last night though!
  • Men teams  should be arriving soon, watch this space for updates!



Thursday 14:21

  • Video problems when editing – audio out of sync – so going to fire up the raw video as much as possible. Check out Chris Paul Video Below.
  • Got to sit through full Women’s training session, this has been great from a coaching point of view today, Coach Finch and Geno Auriemma have put on great sessions.
  • The women have given much better interviews than the men so far, hopefully the men can pick it up post game tonight! Although Geno Auriemma gave a great interview including advice for young Irish players – video to follow.
  • Candace Parker throwing it down at the end of practice!!

Thursday – 11.35

  • What a difference 10 hours sleep makes! Bad start to the day when I had walked all the way to the arena only to remember that I’d forgot my press pass and had to 180 and head back to hotel. . .
  • Got to arena and managed to find my way into the GB men’s training session – listening to Finch coaching I don’t see how USA can get the win tonight! I wonder would team USA be interested in some inside info, for a price of course… Seriously though this is great – it’s like a free coaching clinic and much better than the “open” training sessions where not much is given away.
  • Marc Mulholland is en route so hopefully a lot better video content to follow!
  • Women’s open session and media availability about to start – if you have any questions you want asked let us know on our Facebook or Tweet us.
GBbasketball  men getting ready for Game vs USA basketball tonight

GB men getting ready for Game vs USA tonight

Wednesday – 21:56

  • Just out of the post game pressers. GB coach Tom Maher was very happy with his side and so was Jo Leedham. Everyone agreed that the difference was the USA defence and he pointed out that it was a combination of their length and quickness that closed down all of their passing lanes making it very difficult to run any offense. Reminded me of North Star up against Longford in the second half of our game in the Muckno Mania last week.
  • Found myself alone in the bathroom with Loul Deng, thought it would be inappropriate to ask for a photo? Regret it now what’s the worst that could have happened? Actually no, I think I made the right call.
  • Interviewed Rachael Vanderwal and Candace Parker – both spoke very well and gave better interviews than the men. Having problem with the audio on the interviews but hope to have them online tomorrow.


Wednesday – 18:05 – Media seated on the baseline three rows back on raised seating, not too bad, both teams warming up now about an hour before tip.

A few random points from today:

  • Deron told me that Russell Westbrook lost A LOT in poker last night, I couldn’t get an exact figure out of him but he said it was insane. Got a video of him slagging Russ about it then and will get it uploaded later.
  • Forgot earphones, rookie mistake, hard to edit videos in packed media rooms without them and can hear nothing form my computer in the arena now.
  • How great would it be to have designated rebounders when you are warming up? SportNI must have a funding stream for this?
  • LeBron James – mother always told me that if I have nothing nice to say about someone then it’s best to say nothing at all!
  • If any TCCers are coming over tomorrow and are autograph hunting you can get into the arena around 5pm and players enter the court between sections 117-116 – they seem to stop and sign a few things.

Wednesday – 13:56 – Just finished with Team USA Media Session, player availability was great and managed to speak one on one with five or six of the squad. Unfortunately the schedule was changed so that we were there for the first 30 mins of practice instead of last 30 mins. This meant a lot of stretching and 3 on 0 drills as opposed to the scrimmages at the end of sessions so not many action clips. Check out this video teaser and come back for more media later but right now it’s time for a power nap!


Wednesday – 10:53 – Zero hours sleep due to terrible travel plans but settled into media center and getting ready for open training and media session. A LOT of media here, I’m guessing it will be a scrum around most players so might just go and try and have a chat with Coach K, if for no other reason than to keep Gary Campbell happy.

Team USA vs GB Media Pass

Team USA vs GB Media Pack


Welcome to the TCC Blog covering the GB vs Team USA Exhibition games in Manchester!

This page will be frequently updated with news, photos and videos from the training sessions, games and events happening in Manchester throughout the next two days including both the women’s and men’s teams. There will be a lack of sleep and quick updates combined with no proof reading means typos and speeling mistakes will be standard. Despite that we hopefully will get some good content up here in the next couple of days so check back regularly! To give you an idea of what to expect the main itinerary of the trip is as follows:

Wednesday, July 18
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: USAB Men Open Practice
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM: USAB Media Availability
7:10 PM: USAB Women vs. GB Women

Thursday, July 19
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: USAB Women Open Practice
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM: USAB Women Media Availability
7:10 PM: USAB Men vs. GB Men

Most importantly we want to hear from YOU! If you are heading over to the games hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and let us know where you are at and what you are doing! TCC will be looking to speak to any Irish basketball fans over the weekend so don’t be shy and get in touch!


Niall is the Co-Founder of the Courtside Collective and . He was one of the founding members of North Star in 2002. He has coached at a variety of levels from kids to senior men's teams. He is currently coach of the LYIT National League team and women's college team.


  1. Patrick

    / Reply

    Congrats Niall,
    This mini project from Manchester has been a great success- informative, insightful and most importantly putting basketball and Northern Ireland in the minds of influential people everywhere.
    Keep up the great work.
    TCC !!!

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