100 Reasons You Know You’re an Irish Basketball Player When… (Part 1)

Check out out part one of our list of how to know when you are an Irish basketball player and let us know if you have any others that might feature in parts 2 to 4! Shout out to and their list of things that make you know when you are a British basketball player which I think originally started on the old message boards? 

1. You miss basketball not being on RTE purely because of Timmy McCarthy’s Commentary. ( Timmy Soundboard ) Boom Shack-a-lack-a!

NBA Playoffs Update

We are just past the midpoint of the Conference semi-finals and have been witnesses to some incredible post-season basketball.  From the late-game heroics of Derrick Rose, Paul Pierce and LeBron James to the villainy of hack-a-whoever in the Rockets-Clippers series, these playoffs have had it all.

[VIDEO] Half Court Game Winner in Cup Final!

Live streaming has been a welcome addition to the Irish basketball landscape in recent years and this year the Basketball Ireland Colleges finals were streamed live on the excellent service.

There was a number of great games on the day but there is no doubt what the ultimate highlight was. After being down most of the game Carlow IT managed to get the score level with 5 seconds on the clock. They got the inbound to Jimmy Ward and ….

Sportadown – “Moving the Nation”

Young people will be at the focus of a major sport and community initiative to be held in Portadown on 22 June. Aptly named, Sportadown, the event brings together sport groups, youth clubs and a range of agencies that will deliver an inclusive experience which is both cross community in essence and multi-faceted in terms of opportunities provided.  Over fifteen different ‘come and try’ physical activity experiences can be explored by hundreds of young people in and around the Meadows Shopping Centre.  The event is also be complimented by a Viking boat race on the River Bann delivered by Craigavon Borough Council.


Photo Caption: ‘Sportadown’ supporters Riada Rockets encourage population to get active in their community.

The Sportadown festival is one of the principal elements of a youth engagement programme entitled CURBS, (Communities Unite in Reconciling and Building Society) supported by OFMDFM and Atlantic Philanthropies.

At the heart of the Sportadown initiative is the objective of increasing youth participation in sport, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, provision of opportunities to volunteer and to enhance young people’s ability to make a significant contribution to society.

Besides the flagship event on Saturday 22nd June, a further three initiatives will take place in the area. Sportadown kicks off on 18th June with a seminar entitled ‘Moving the Nation: increasing youth sport participation’ and brings together speakers from the sport and physical activity sector, including Sport NI, ukactive, Ulster GAA and Unify, who will discuss youth participation in sport.  A coaching masterclass will also be delivered and focuses on how to make physical activity sessions more engaging and enjoyable for young people.

Richie Smith, from Unify Solutions (Unify Global Sport) who is managing Sportadown said,

“More than ever physical activity must be embedded into the DNA of our population. The challenge for all is to find innovative ways to present sport and physical activity, embrace technology, offer more accessible options and engage more positively with communities rather than waiting for communities to go to leisure facilities. ‘Sportadown’ offers a fantastic programme and we invite NGB’s, local sport clubs, coaches, Local authorities and Health Improvement Officers to get involved so that together we can inspire a generation to become more active and enjoy the health and social benefits of sport.”

For more information and to register your place for events at ‘Sportadown’ please visit or follow the event on Twitter @


Sportadown_June 2013


Player Bio: Adrian O’Sullivan

O'Sullivan finds his way through for the score.

O’Sullivan finds his way through for the score.

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.

O'Sullivan has being playing in the States this season.

O’Sullivan has being playing in the States this season.

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:

Wingfoot Summer Hoops – Belfast

TCC is committed to raising the profile of basketball and improving the basketball culture in Ireland, both North and South of the border. We are always thinking of new and exciting ways to unite basketball players on the Island of Ireland, regardless of club affiliation.

This Summer, TCC will be hosting the second annual  Wingfoot Summer Rec League for Men and open court pick-up basketball for Women (July & August) in Queen’s PEC, Belfast, from 7pm – 9pm. We are excited to be working in partnership with Wingfoot,

Wingfoot Authentic

The format is:

  • Two Games (per night),
  • 2x 20 minute halves (each game),
  • Tuesday nights
  • 4v4 
  • Two separate competitions (Men’s League & Women’s Pick-Up)
  • Teams drafted by “Team Captains”
  • LIVE DRAFT social event (Tuesday 24th June @ Harlequins, 7.30pm – 9pm)
  • FREE TCC Top (Each team given the same colour of shirt – becomes your jersey/kit)

Women’s Competitive Pick-Up

This Summer, we will be running a competitive Women’s Pick-Up basketball session alongside the Men’s League. Sign up now for 8 weeks and receive a FREE TCC T-shirt… all for the low cost of £30. Tell your teammates. Remember, this is open to basketball players only and the session will be competitive. Teams will be evenly split each night!  

Pay as you play: £4 per night


CLOSING DATE: Wednesday 19th June


Event Launch – Mon 24th June (Harlequins)

The teams have been chosen by our six team captains:

  • Sean Wynne (Queen’s Basketball Club)
  • Feargal Toner (Belfast Star)
  • Michael Campbell (Belfast Stormers)
  • Paddy McGaharan (Ulster Elks)
  • Andrew Dolliver (Queen’s Basketball Club)
  • Mike Calo (Belfast Star)

The ‘draft’ took place this past weekend. Each team captain thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had a lot of fun acting as GMs. We are excited to get the league going!

TCC will host a Launch Event at Harlequins Rugby Club (Deramore Park, Malone Road) on Monday 24th June. Doors open at 7.30pm with the Draft beginning sharp at 8pm. ALL players will receive their exclusive TCC Wingfoot T-Shirt on the night!

On the evening, we will announce the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks and then the final members of each team will be called out in a random order. We hope it will be a fun, friendly, inclusive, and sociable event to get the recreational Summer League kicked off.

Add yourself to our Facebook Event for updates…

Men’s League Draft Table


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


Ireland U18 Women compete against Scotland

The Irish U18 Women’s team played the highly rated Scotland U18 team over two closely fought contests in Stirling, Scotland, on the 15th and 16th July. Basketball Scotland’s training base at the Peak Sports Centre was the venue for the opening game, which was played in sweltering temperatures with the height and conditioning advantage of the hosts expected to be the difference.

Irish Women in Scotland 2013

Irish Women in Scotland 2013

Game One

The Irish girls raced into a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter with co-captains Laura Rodgers and Amy Waters leading by example. Ireland’s switching man and match up defences forced the home team into some rushed offensive options and with the energetic Aoife Brett coolly converting at the other end and Maeve Ryan stellar in defence James Weldon was the happier coach at this stage.

As the second quarter began Scotland, as expected , began to find their feet and shooting range but Ireland , thanks to stellar efforts by Shannon Farrell and Clare Leavey , held firm to lead 33-24 at the half time break.

The second half resumption saw the superior fitness of the home side begin to whittle away at the Irish lead and things looked ominous as the third quarter ended with the lead reduced to 47-40 with rising Braveheart star Sarah Thompson notching her points total to 20 while Irish centre Caro Llyod was inspiring her team as she set about amassing a triple double (11 pts, 16 rebounds and 13 blocked shots) and frustrate the Scottish attempts to score in the paint time and time again.

Scotland relentlessly chipped away at the lead and with two minutes remaining in the final quarter edged ahead for the first time by a single point and Ireland paid the price for missing two gilt-edged opportunities before having to foul to stop the game clock.

Final Score Scotland 62 Ireland 57.

Game Two

After the disappointment in the opening test, Ireland set out on the road to redemption in the University of Stirling Arena on Tuesday 16th July. Once again, the girls in green were first out of the blocks and Scotland found themselves at the wrong end of the 25-18 score line at the end the opening quarter. Lauren Falvey was inspirational and scored at will while her club team-mate Megan O’Leary shrugged off the effects of an injury picked up in the previous game to pull the string at the point guard position.

Scotland refused to buckle and fought back to trail by one point 39-38. Caro Lloyd proved the bane of many of the offensive attempts by the resurgent hosts and she compiled a double-double (12 points and 13 rebounds).

As expected, Scotland’s conditioning began to be more of a factor as the third quarter drew to a close, which ended leaving Ireland trailing 6 points, 45-53.
As the final minutes of the game ebbed away the Irish, despite their best efforts, were struggling to cut the deficit to a single digit figure. Ireland’s full court press with three minutes remaining inspired an 11-0 run mainly due to the athleticism of Laura Rodgers, the unerring accuracy of Lauren Falvey and a trade mark three pointer from Megan O’Leary. Scotland were unable to reciprocate and victory was snatched by the visiting Irish.

Final Score. Scotland 67 Ireland 68.

Basketball Scotland versus Basketball Ireland

Head Coach James Weldon’s comments:

“Overall, I am very happy with how this team has developed over a shot period of time and this is in no small measure due to our exceptional team manager Lorraine Scully, whose super organizational ability and relaxed manner has provide a great environment for us all to reach our goals. The Leaving Cert commitments left the players with a long break, which may have had a negative impact on our sharpness.

The team showed tremendous heart and skill to turn around after the setback in the opening game. We were able to achieve a tremendous win here against an well-coached and professionally prepared Scotland team.

It has been an honour to have had the chance to work with this group of Irish players, who never shirked anything they were asked to do. The support from their parents has been immense, which is why the early victories last April in Denmark did not come as a surprise to those close to the team. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for many of these great players.”


Source: Basketball Ireland

Ireland U16 Squad Teaches Local Hoopers a Lesson (or Two)

When Tony McGaharan asked me to play in a pick-up game against the Ireland U-16 team, I said sure. It would be a nice practice for TCC’s Wingfoot Summer League, and we’d probably beat up on some kids in the process, no big deal.

Ireland U16 2013

Kelleher’s team were well drilled

Except, not so much. First of all, the players were plenty big. When I showed up to St. Malachy’s College on Saturday, July 6, with Tony and his brother, I knew I had gotten myself into something more serious than I had anticipated. The youngsters sported their flashy green uniforms and warmed up seriously with their coach, Paul Kelleher, barking instructions. A pile of blue jerseys awaited my team, a last-minute, pieced-together group of out-of-shape, Belfast-adult hoopers.

The green jerseys played with great organisation. For the forty minutes, the U-16s proceeded to teach us lesson after lesson, executing with great precision all the different aspects of the game: screening, moving, passing, aggressive defence, fast-breaking, and shooting. Boy, did they shoot. It seems like at any given time, they had three or four guys on the floor who were capable of knocking the three-point shot down with consistency. I came away impressed with the degree to which each player seemed to understand his role on the floor.

Ireland U16 Challenge Team Belfast 2013

Not sure why we were smiling with the final score in the backdrop….
(L-R- Back Row: Ben Horner, Conor McQuillan, Mark Galway, Paddy McGaharan, Chris Schumerth… Front: Tony McGaharan, Gerard Ryan, Stephen Fox)

My team, on the other hand, tried desperately to come up with any sort of offensive or defensive strategy. With the game being played at a much quicker pace than our summer league, we were peeling over and sucking air by the time the first quarter ended. Our opponents were in potentially the peak physical condition of their lives, after all. After an unnecessary buzzer-beating layup, the Ireland team went on to win the game 97-67. By then, we were just glad for the workout and that the beat-down was over.

“When they work hard, everything else becomes easier,” Kelleher said after the exhibition win.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Ireland U-16s, they pull from both Ireland and Northern Ireland, and they’ve been playing together since October of 2011. They split their practices between the places — Cork, Dublin, Belfast — from which they draw players. Right now, they’re training three times a week, but those days can include as much as six hours on the court.

Over the course of the next month, the team will travel to places like Luxembourg and Portugal, as well as play in a tournament in Cork and even take on an American Athletic Union (AAU) team from the United States. The build-up is toward the European Championships in Bosnia, where the Ireland group will play eight games in the B Division starting on August 18.