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


Mount Aloysius College


Coach Kennedy


Enjoying the sun


Working on their handle



BI Macron Kits National Camp 2013 Coaching Line-Up

Summer is fast approaching and Basketball Ireland have been hard at work in preparation for the 40th Annual National Camp. This year, pairing up with Macron Kits, they have pieced together an outstanding coaching line-up. Check it out:

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Marcus Ginyard

Born: May 8th, 1987

Home Town: Alexandria, Northern Virginia, USA

Marcus Ginyard is a name well-known to followers of college basketball the world around. A part of the famous 2009 North Carolina National Championship winning team, Marcus’ basketball career has taken him all over the world and this summer, he intends to travel to Ireland and the 40th Basketbal Ireland Macron Kits National Camp at Gormanston.

A very brief summary of some of his achievements inclue winning an AAU National title at the age of 13, playing alongside current NBA stars Ty Lawson, Roy Hibbert and Dante Cunningham. During his time at Bsihop O’Donnell High School in Arlington Virginia, Marcus helped lead his team to a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship, three straight Alhambra Catholic Invitation Championships, and three Virginia Independent School State Championships. His career was highlighted with an impressive 116-19 overall record in four years, First Team All Metropolitan Selection, Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year, and Virginia’s Mr. Basketball.

After his sophmore season at Bishop O’Connell, Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams offered him a full scholarship to play basketball for the University of North Carolina. Marcus accepted without hesitation. He entered UNC with fellow classmates Michael Copeland, Danny Green, Bobby Frasor and Tyler Hansbrough. A key player right from the start of his career at UNC, Marcus captained the team his junior season, becoming an essential part of the 2008 ACC Championship and Final Four season. He was selected to the ACC-All Defense Team, while also being named to All-ACC Tournament Team. The following year, Marcus was forced to redshirt midway through the season due to his slow recovery from surgery on a broken bone in his foot. His team would go on to win the 2009 National Championship.

His professional career the begain in the German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) with BBC Bayreuth and has since taken him to  Ironi Nahariya in Israel before he landed with his current team Anwil Wloclawek in the Polish Tauron Basket Liga (TBL).


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Michael Bree

Born: March 26th, 1980

Hometown: Sligo

Michael Bree is widely recognised as one of the greatest Irish players ever and his lengthy list of achievements makes for impressive reading. Below are just some of the things that he has achieved in the game of basketball to date.

  • Former captain for the Irish Senior Men’s Basketball squad and have been capped more than 35 times at senior level for Ireland. Played basketball for Ireland at all levels, including captaining the Irish junior men’s squad to victory in the European Qualifications, becoming the first Irish Team to do so. Received five personal accolades including the Most Valuable Player award at the European Qualifications Tournament
  • Captain of Davidson College, NCAA Division One basketball team for the years 2000-2002. Received the Most valuable player award during the 2001-2002 season
  • Selected by team colleagues as captain to Team Ratiopharm Ulm, Germany for two consecutive years.
  • Led the second Bundesliga, Germany in assists for the season 2003-2004. Also top 10 in steals.
  • Led the Basket Ligan, Sweden in total assists for the seasons 2005-2007. Also top 10 in steals.
  • Named as Eurobasket Bosman of the year for Sweden 2005-2006.
  • Selected as an All-Star in Sweden for the 2005-2006 season.

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B.J McFarlan

Born: June 26, 1976
Home Town: New York, USA

Nickname: “B.J” and “The Beast”
Full name: William Marion Mc Farlan

B.J McFarlan is a seasoned pro whose career began in Ireland when he was a key member of the 2000 SuperLeague Cup winning Burger King Limerick side. Since then he has gone on to play for professional teams in Finland, Poland, France, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Argentina. In that time he has built an impressive playing CV that includes being named to the All-Finnish League Imports 1st Team in 2004, being named the All-French ProB Player of the Year in 2005, leading his team to the French ProB Championship in 2006 and being named to the Argentinian LigaA All-Imports Team in 2008 during a time when he led his team (Lanus) to back to back Argentinian LigaA Finals (’08 and ’09).

Post and photos courtesy of Basketball Ireland

My Summer in the USA: the Pros and Cons

Wow. This feels strange. But in a good way.

It’s been a while since I last blogged for TCC and I am happy to finally have a free moment to check-in. Where have I been? Camp! The past eight weeks in the beautiful rural Pennsylvania, coordinating the Athletics programme for 300-something campers, went by in a flash. Was it fun? Of course. Have I missed out on somethings? Unfortunately so.

Here are a few of my pros and cons of spending Summer 2012 in the USA

  • Pro: It’s nice to see the sun after May (you know that one week, during exams, when Ireland thinks it’s going to have a beautiful summer?)
  • Con: Sunburn – despite lathering on SPF 30 regularly (I promise, Mum)
  • Pro: Following the awesome coverage of the US vs Team GB warm-up games on The Courtside Collective (Well-done Marc and Niall – you guys nailed it)
  • ConFollowing the awesome coverage of the US vs Team GB warm-up games on The Courtside Collective (I hate you both, Marc and Niall)
  • Pro: Camp Olympics/Colour War
  • Con: The zillions of people (slight exaggeration) who have been able to watch the actual Olympics on TV all day, everyday (I’m looking at you, Paddy McGaharan)
  • Pro: The pound-to-dollar exchange rate
  • Con: The dollar-to-pound exchange rate (maybe I should spend it all here?)
  • Pro: Eating Chick-Fil-A
  • Con: Eating Chick-Fila-A and feeling like I’m making some sort of statement when really all I wanted was a great chicken sandwich and superior service (it’s my pleasure)
  • Pro: Receiving a phone-call from Joe McAufield (Aquinas Grammar Basketball) to hear about the birth of his new baby boy, Michael Joseph.
  • Con: Missing out on the “party of the year” – an Olympic themed shindig with my closest friends, including three Swedish mates who made the trip (seems like the lads were happy enough entertaining Janna, Eleanor and Camilla)

The list could go on-and-on forever.

Right now, I am happy to report poolside from a beautiful villa in Orlando, Florida. Thanks to Joe McAufield who rented me this ridiculous pad for a few nights. I can’t imagine a better way to get some R’N’R: sipping on a cold Sam Adams, listening to Passion Pit and trying to get some sun (but not too much).

This has been TCC’s first travel post. Where have you been this summer? Have you been holidaying in London for the Olympics?

Thinking of going to Orlando? Why not check out the McAufield Villa! For more details and photos of this wonderful getaway spot, click here!