The name O’Sullivan is one of the most prominent in Irish basketball, and nineteen year old Adrian is one of the most impressive basketballers to come from this family.
The Corkman, who has been the front man of many successful seasons for Ballincollig, has crossed over to the States to attend Trinity Pawling Prep school. Previous pupils of this school are fellow Irish players Sean Kilmartin and Ciaran McVeigh.
It is not difficult to see how Adrian became such a talent so quickly, coming from such a basketball crazy family. Both his parents, Francis and Grace, are coaches in Ballincollig Basketball Club and his older brother Ciaran is another of the country’s finest young players.
Always quick to pass off the credit for his success O’Sullivan claims inspiration from local stars like Ger Noonan, Shane Coughlan and Colin O’Reilly who he grew up watching every week. But it is clear that without his passion for the sport he would not have developed to the standard he is at today, “Day in day out I bounced a basketball and I haven’t stopped to this day.”
Throughout his underage career O’Sullivan’s Ballincollig team built up an incredible record, suffering only three defeats in seven years, one in a Billy Kelly Cup Final and another in a National Cup under-18 semi-final. Under the coaching supervision of Francis O’Sullivan Ballincollig developed into one of the strongest and most consistent teams in the country and Adrian was the star man all the way.
Following in his brother’s footsteps, Adrian made the decision to move to the States to attend a prep school this year and has described it as the most amazing experience of his life. However, despite this he has had to adjust to the higher standards and levels of intensity involved in playing basketball in America. He described how tough it is training “every single day for two hours, including two games a week and sometimes three.”
O’Sullivan says his tough training regime is essential not only to develop as a player, but merely to keep up with the players around him. Some of the players he trains with and plays against are being scouted for colleges every time he plays. From being the benchmark for high standards to suddenly struggling with the standard must have been a major challenge for O’Sullivan, but he has coped well already notching up a couple of huge performances.
Twice this season O’Sullivan has gone insane from the three-point line with 23 point games. In each game Adrian contributed seven threes and in the second game had five of them in the fourth quarter in a two point win which brought his team to the top spot of their conference. Performances like this are bound to attract the attention of scouts, however O’Sullivan says he is still undecided over whether he wants to attend college in America or return to Ireland.
His decision will be depending on what colleges offer him a place and whether he could get work when he returns home to Ireland. However he put it perfectly himself, “No matter what decision I make I know there’ll be a basketball in my hand, and that’s never a bad thing.”
Check out some highlights from Adrian’s year in the states: