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Irish Basketball

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  • More here on that documentary.

    The 1984 draft was one of the strongest ever producing Jordan, Hakeem, John Stockton and the round mound of rebound - Charles Barkley. Trant was last pick to the celtics.
    Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and John Stockton - See more at: http://dimemag.com/2014/06/84-draft-documentary-highlighted-story-dan-trant/#sthash.XCsxeWes.dpuf
    Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and John Stockton - See more at: http://dimemag.com/2014/06/84-draft-documentary-highlighted-story-dan-trant/#sthash.XCsxeWes.dpuf




  • Don't know if anyone cares, but the Irish u18's won their first tournament game in 7 years. Things didn't go as well in the next 2 games. In the final game Ireland came up against Ukraine, a team with one of the hottest prospect around. The kids name is Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and nbadraftnet list his biggest weakness as being too good!

    Good article.

    http://thecourtsidecollective.com/irish-basketball-vs-potential-greatness/




  • Just looking through the list of names here,brings back some memories of all the games i travelled to in all corners of the country, does the name Vince Daly ring any bells with ye boardsies??? Ex kerry spring water /gleneagle lakers, also spent about half a season with Neptune




  • KC161 wrote: »
    Just looking through the list of names here,brings back some memories of all the games i travelled to in all corners of the country, does the name Vince Daly ring any bells with ye boardsies??? Ex kerry spring water /gleneagle lakers, also spent about half a season with Neptune

    Yup. He was out of St. Brendan's in Killarney if memory serves me correctly. Also played with Tralee and I think he may even have won a league medal with them, he was certainly around that time. One of those guys who was ignored at international level underage partly due to not being from Dublin or Cork (lol in some ways, not in others). Had a couple of good seasons from a scoring perspective in the National League but the scouting report wasn't as gracious from a defensive point of view. Small forward (position wise, not height - lol about 6'4"?), good fast break finisher, ok shooter but not a 3 point threat. But hey, that's 15-20 years ago at least, I could be wrong.




  • Yup. He was out of St. Brendan's in Killarney if memory serves me correctly. Also played with Tralee and I think he may even have won a league medal with them, he was certainly around that time. One of those guys who was ignored at international level underage partly due to not being from Dublin or Cork (lol in some ways, not in others). Had a couple of good seasons from a scoring perspective in the National League but the scouting report wasn't as gracious from a defensive point of view. Small forward (position wise, not height - lol about 6'4"?), good fast break finisher, ok shooter but not a 3 point threat. But hey, that's 15-20 years ago at least, I could be wrong.

    In short you are spot on in all aspects of him including the height, mostly wore his beloved #6 he has worked in Cork since 1998 and resided permanently since 2000,he constantly commuted back and forth for games training etc,until recent years he played with fr Matthews, he was capped at international level, I frequently meet with him here in Cork even though now in his 40's he still maintains a fitness level of someone in their 20's


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  • Cup finals weekend kicking off the 9th of January. Looking forward to it think teams are closely matched and atmosphere in the arena should be great for the premier mens




  • Cup finals weekend kicking off the 9th of January. Looking forward to it think teams are closely matched and atmosphere in the arena should be great for the premier mens

    Are they based in the Mardyke in Cork this year?




  • killwill wrote: »
    Are they based in the Mardyke in Cork this year?

    The mens finals are in the Mardyke. Women's and underage in other arenas around think Neptune and a couple other places




  • I've posted a few times about Chris Craig before, but this article was published in the Examiner before Christmas. Very sad.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/columnists/kieran-shannon/waiting-and-hoping-for-the-real-chris-to-rebound-303839.html#.VJ1sMiHA_cN.facebook


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  • stuba wrote: »
    I've posted a few times about Chris Craig before, but this article was published in the Examiner before Christmas. Very sad.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/columnists/kieran-shannon/waiting-and-hoping-for-the-real-chris-to-rebound-303839.html#.VJ1sMiHA_cN.facebook

    Thanks a lot for sharing. I read your first link to this story with disbelief, and this is really sad. Well written and researched as always by Kieran Shannon. I remember the year Tigers won the cup with Craig, he was an outstanding point guard with amazing three point accuracy. He should have won MVP in the final but it went to the other American(Smallwood was it??) who was also an amazing talent. He seemed like a guy with such charisma, such a sad story. Hopefully he can make a recovery for the sake of his family.




  • buyer95 wrote: »
    Thanks a lot for sharing. I read your first link to this story with disbelief, and this is really sad. Well written and researched as always by Kieran Shannon. I remember the year Tigers won the cup with Craig, he was an outstanding point guard with amazing three point accuracy. He should have won MVP in the final but it went to the other American(Smallwood was it??) who was also an amazing talent. He seemed like a guy with such charisma, such a sad story. Hopefully he can make a recovery for the sake of his family.

    Yes the mvp went to Smallwood..great partnership by two of them that year and Chris seemed very friendly when he was about town. You never know what's going on I guess!




  • I'm interested in going to some of the Cup finals weekend as I've never been. I used to always watch them as a kid when the whole weekend (semis and finals) used to be covered on RTE back in the glory days. I know the semi's are this week but what weekend are the finals? I presume they still take place in Tallaght. Is it tickets on the door or can they booked online?




  • I'm interested in going to some of the Cup finals weekend as I've never been. I used to always watch them as a kid when the whole weekend (semis and finals) used to be covered on RTE back in the glory days. I know the semi's are this week but what weekend are the finals? I presume they still take place in Tallaght. Is it tickets on the door or can they booked online?

    The finals are on the weekend starting Fri 23rd January. Tickets will probably go on sale online in the next week or so. Last year the Senior Mens session sold out online in advance as far as I can remember.




  • Were there any boardsies at the semi finals this weekend???

    Went all 3 days..great atmosphere and skills on show and great to see full house everyday. Some comebacks too Killester in the Senior Women's and Moycullen in the Div 1 Mens..can't wait to see them play again in the final in a couple of weeks.




  • I'm interested in going to some of the Cup finals weekend as I've never been. I used to always watch them as a kid when the whole weekend (semis and finals) used to be covered on RTE back in the glory days. I know the semi's are this week but what weekend are the finals? I presume they still take place in Tallaght. Is it tickets on the door or can they booked online?
    The finals are on the weekend starting Fri 23rd January. Tickets will probably go on sale online in the next week or so. Last year the Senior Mens session sold out online in advance as far as I can remember.

    All games Saturday or Sunday this year, and I'm working both days so it stays on the bucket list for another year :( could have made Friday evening if it had stayed that way




  • Second session on Saturday is booked out now too for this year




  • The eve of another cup final weekend and with it a sense of history about it for those of us steeped in Irish hoops, writes Kieran Shannon.

    On one hand, there’s anticipating the history that could be made over the next few frenetic days and games, on the other, the memories of the tradition it will all follow.

    We could almost go all Al Tony D’Amato Pacino with this weekend’s various finalists, invite them over to our house for some jambalaya with Ben Hur playing in the background, and remind them, “McHale, Sully, Jasper — you’re part of all that now.”

    The cup is a little over 30 years old at this point, and the national league itself, 10 years older.

    Enough time and body of work, you would think, to have a right good debate about what have been the best Irish players over that time span.

    It also meant some stipulations. First, you’d to be over 28 to make this; hence, Kyle Hosford, the most dynamic guard in the country right now, must wait a bit longer for consideration.

    Americans or Bosmans with Irish passports didn’t qualify either; hence, no Pat Burke of NBA or Real Madrid fame, or any of the US players who played for the national teams of the noughties.

    A lot of things went into the mix.

    Could they — did they — do it at international level against bigger bodies and bigger talent? Could they — did they — cut it as a pro? Were they fair to their own talent and thus their teammates?

    Winning — and being the winning of — leagues and cups mattered. So did longevity, reliability, mental toughness, qualities often undervalued by hoops purists who can over-lionise maverick and technical skill. We did, however, show a preference for big men, as this is overloaded with guards.

    There’s a long list of honourable mentions that we know will only prompt righteous outrage in some quarters. Pat Quirke, Mono McCarthy and Darren McGuinness were among the most mesmerising and outrageous ball-handlers and talents the country has seen but you couldn’t necessarily depend on them to make your next practice.

    Anyone who played with or coached Karl Butler in the 1980s will say he was possibly the best junior and senior international of that era but visibility and longevity mitigated against him.

    Likewise, Conor Grace, for all his durability in playing professionally for close to a decade, just misses out.

    Up in the Joshua Tree in the heart of the Cork northside, Blue Demons fans will scoff at the absence of Mono, Noel McCarthy, John Cooney, Seanie Murphy, Brian Clernon and Niall O’Reilly.

    Just down the road, Neptune diehards will be similarly derisive how Paul Kelly and a legion of guards — Gordon Fitz, Nugie, Noonan — were overlooked.

    In Dublin, St Vincent’s stalwarts will question how Dave Fitzsimmons who graced Crystal Palace in the 70s is likewise omitted.

    In Killester, Eamonn Molly’s omission will jar, as will the absence of anyone from the Westbrooks or Grennell households. A nod too to Pete Masden, who won his share of cup and league finals in the noughties. In Kerry, Tim O’Regan was one of the league’s first big men and scorers.

    We could go on. Instead it’s time to see who made it. Cue the Chicago Bulls song, ‘At shooting guard, from Tramore, County Waterford...’

    25. DAMIEN SEALY

    A winner: with five Cups from his time with Notre Dame and Killester, no one has won more in January, though Shane Coughlan and Niall O’Reilly will probably change that this weekend. An international at a time when only a couple of Irish-born players were making the national team. Athletic, reliable, dogged, he was the X-factor for a lot of Dublin title-winning teams.
    24. KIERAN DONAGHY

    Too fleeting a basketball presence for some observers but in these eyes that can only affect his ranking, not his inclusion. Anyone who saw him and Micheal Quirke carry Tralee on their backs with both Americans fouled out to beat a stacked Killester team in the 2008 league final down in Limerick witnessed one of the standout moments of the Superleague era. Donaghy scored 22 points that day in a low-scoring game, having put up 24 points only a day earlier in the semi-final against Neptune. He would never play Superleague again after that weekend.
    23. PAUL FITZGERALD

    A couple of bigs just miss out here — Conor Grace, Jason Killeen — but Fitzgerald gets the nod.
    At 17 he was starting and scoring a dozen points for Neptune in the decisive game of the 1983 league against St Vincent’s. Six years later his transfer and contribution to Blue Demons swung the first league of the one-American era. That he did very little after that was a shame but his size and moves made him probably the most valued Irish international of 80s.

    22. JOHN TEAHAN

    Rus Bradburd has coached a lot of basketball, including at D1 level with the likes of Timmy Hardaway, yet he’ll say Teahan and Kieran Donaghy are the two most ferocious competitors he ever coached. The key to Tralee’s 1996 league win and still the heartbeat of their other title-winning teams in the Donaghy-Quirke era.
    21. MARK KEENAN

    At 5’5’’ there’s hardly been anyone smaller to play for the national team yet he was central to it for over a decade, from starring in 1984 with the first junior team to win an international game to 10 years later winning the Promotions Cup. His handling, passing, speed and tenacity were reminiscent of Mugsy Bogues while his longevity – 17 years in the league – was staggering.
    20. PAT BOYLAN

    He maybe didn’t have the refinement, reputation or ultimately league medal count of other leading forwards of the 1980s but this St Vincent’s clubman was an exceptional athlete and big-game scorer; in three of the four Top Four National Championship finals that he won, he scored at least 22 points as well as racking up 21 points in the inaugural National Cup final against Demons in ’84. Could also play and score at international level.
    19. ANDY HOULIHAN

    He didn’t have the finesse of future inside players but Houlihan was the mainstay of the national team in the 70s. Then in the four Top Four finals either side of the advent of the Americans he averaged 20 points, with Demons or Killarney.
    18. MICHEAL QUIRKE

    Like Donaghy, we’d like to have seen more of him but in his 10 years on and off, he’d win two leagues and two cups. In the 2007 cup semi-final against Vincent’s he was an absolute beast, scoring 29 points, but his finest hour was his last hour when in the 2008 league final Killester’s big men looked like they didn’t even want to enter the key — his key.
    17. GER HEAPHY

    How special was this guy? His first game leaving Neptune for the North Mon in 1990 was a derby against Demons. Big game. Nerves could have unsettled him. He scored 40 points. A streetfighter. Pure dynamite.
    16. SEAMUS WOODS

    He would play most of the 80s in Division Two with St Colm’s from his native Limerick, but his astonishing versatility and guile would be showcased when he’d join Neptune, inspiring — not just helping — them to multiple honours; over five national finals in that time he’d average 16 points.
    15. TIM McCARTHY

    Danny Fulton reckons he never coached a smarter player for Ireland. Whether getting out on the fast break or making a cut to the hoop, no Irish player made layups or bigger baskets for Demons in the 80s.
    14. OWEN McKEON

    The league had some great guard in the 70s — Cooney, Molloy, Quirke — but McKeon was the first guard who could jump shoot off the dribble. Adrian Fulton can still see the 70-foot bounce pass he threw to a St Vincent’s teammate in the 1983 Top Four win. With his Kareem-like goggles, McKeon stood out in the 80s.
    13. STEPHEN McGURK

    From the moment he broke onto the national scene in 1993 with an MVP performance in the U19 Cup final and a couple of buckets in the senior decider, McGurk’s exceptional jumping and handling ability was obvious. He would continue to light up January weekends; the 30 points he scored in the last-second 2000 defeat to Notre Dame remains the most scored by an Irish player in a cup final. That Vincent’s went a 12-year stint without winning a league on his beat counts against him but that they rarely finished outside the top three in that time was a testament to his skill and consistency.
    12. MICHAEL BREE

    One of the best underage players this country has known — so good, the kid from Sligo would win a scholarship to Davidson College where he’d be their MVP in his senior year. He’d go on to lead the Swedish league and German second division in assist and steals. With his speed and handling, won 35 caps with the national team at a time native players rarely saw the floor, Bree was exceptional.
    11. GARETH MAGUIRE

    Another who cut it at international level. At 6’4’’ he was able to leap and help out on the boards yet he could stroke down three-pointers. That he never added a cup to go with his couple of leagues and three Top Fours could be held against him, but invariably Maguire performed for Star in all those cup weekends.
    10. KARL DONNELLY

    In 1989, Pat Boylan would go all Jack Nicklaus by saying already a teenaged Donnelly was playing a game he was unfamiliar with, such was his American-style handle, athleticism and scoring power. Vincent’s might not have won as much as he would have expected throughout the 1990s and beyond but Donnelly was a central reason as to why they were always thereabouts.
    9. TOM WILKINSON

    A bit of an Irish Larry Bird: he couldn’t jump that great but he could shoot, score, rebound and above all win. Possibly the most consistent Irish player from 1977 to 1988, and probably its best big-game player; he’d knock down 20 points in the historic 1983 Roy Curtis tournament win over Murray Metals. When you think of why Demons won everything in 1980 and Neptune would win most leagues after that for the next dozen years, Wilkinson is a big part.
    8. ADRIAN FULTON

    Probably the best pure point guard this country has produced, and certainly the best player the north has offered up.
    7. SHANE COUGHLAN

    Back nearly 20 years ago when he was still a juvenile player, Shane said he was uncomfortable with me noting in print the similarities between his game and Penny Hardaway’s. Well, he’s lasted longer than Penny anyway. With his vision, handling and back-to-basket moves he has to go down as the best player never to play full senior international basketball for Ireland.
    6. PADDY KELLY

    Possibly the best defensive player on this list, yet one of its best scorers too, from when he broke onto the scene in the late 90s contesting three U19 cup finals to scoring 28 points in the 2011 Superleague final win. The Killester man is probably the best player Dublin has produced.
    5. PAUDIE O’CONNOR

    The Kerryman who shook it all up. Not just by bringing in the Americans in ’79 but by being able to hang with them. Paudie was 6’4. Everyone else that height in the ‘70s played centre. He played point guard.
    4. STEPHEN McCARTHY

    It was 25 years ago this weekend that a scrawny, spotty teenager would come off the bench for a stacked Neptune team and go on to be their highest scorer and MVP in a cup final. He’d broaden out after that but he’d use that along with his incredible court sense and handle to uphold Neptune’s winning tradition.
    3. TOM O’SULLIVAN

    The best pure jump shooter the league has seen. No Irish player has scored more in cup semi- finals and finals. Throw in the seven leagues he won and the fact he did it at international level and O’Sullivan’s place in the top three is justified.
    2. COLIN O’REILLY

    The best thing about this year’s league or any time he’s played here, given he’s been a pro in England and elsewhere so long. Like most of the best, very, very smart, to the point he’s coaching Demons for a second straight year. Only one other player has so consistently run up such high scores in the league...
    1. LIAM McHALE

    Still, the king, edging O’Reilly for longevity alone; bear in mind that in 2007 he was still scoring 14 points in the Superleague final at 43 years of age. He maybe didn’t have Colin’s outside game — though he could score out there too — but for his sheer all-round game, toughness, scoring power, leadership and contribution to Irish basketball — transforming a small rural club into consistent contenders and two-time cup and one-time league champions — is legendary.
    TOMORROW: Kieran Shannon ranks the top 25 women in Irish basketball

    © Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/columnists/kieran-shannon/top-25-irelands-greatest-ever-basketball-players-308366.html




  • Sorry for the double post. Showed this to the father today, he'd a few not so nice things to say about Shannon after writing this. Anyone else have opinions?




  • read it in the Examiner this morning and enjoyed it. not qualified to give an opinion on the selections myself, but that's what it is, one man's opinion. the main thing is, it's great to see a minority sport get so much coverage, which the Examiner excels at for many minority sports. my first impression opening the page was that this is a proper build-up for Cup final weekend with tomorrow and Saturday still to come

    as a country lad myself, Ballina were always my team back in the day, so I was delighted to see Liam McHale on top!


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  • stuba wrote: »
    Sorry for the double post. Showed this to the father today, he'd a few not so nice things to say about Shannon after writing this. Anyone else have opinions?

    I sort of know Kieran, we're in and around the same age, attended a number of underage camps etc. at the same time and he was in college with me for a year. That list however is deeply flawed, he's commenting on some players he would only have had fleeting glances at at best given his age, and the same problem exists with a lot of his pieces to this day - he writes more like a fan than a neutral and unbiased journalist. I've levelled the same criticism at him previously for his "Hanging from the rafters" book, which although an enjoyable read is littered with inaccuracies and a healthy degree of exaggeration - examples of which I gave at the time.

    I wouldn't disagree with McHale at #1, but there's tonnes of things I'd disagree with after that. Placing Seamus Woods after McGurk is disgraceful to name but one example and just made me laugh out loud tbh. I wonder did Seamus' treatment of Shannon as a coach have anything to do with that one? ;)

    I could go on but I'm watching something on tv, I only came on for a quick browse during the ads....




  • Interesting article, McHale was always a player I liked to watch, 50 points in a game by an Irishman was a big thing back then when it happened.
    Wonder if we could do a top 20 of imports in the league?




  • I agree with you Buttersuki. While I am much younger my Father played throughout the 70s and 80s and my mother played late 80s so I was raised listening to stories about all these people, and idolised quite a few growing up. When I showed my Dad this article tonight he was none too pleased with a bit of the list, but I suppose as already said before it is only one mans opinion.

    Really looking forward to the Ladies article tomorrow, if anything but to see how my father reacts to it tomorrow.




  • The ladies isn't as bad as the mens, but there are notable omissions - and not the ones he mentions in the preamble. You couldn't argue with No. 1, but he's missed a few ladies who went to the US (and Corkonians too I might add) on scholarships and a load of whom stayed behind too. Ah well, it's all subjective and just one guys opinion at the end of the day. Nothing to get all that bothered about I suppose……..




  • Can't comment on most of the list as the majority are all from before my time. However Donaghy at 24 is ridiculous. He was one of the very best players in the league, and at 6 7" had a very high skill level and great athlecism. He played the small forward position and often was tasked with defending the opponents USA wing imports. He had an offer to go to a good basketbsll college on an athletic scholarship, and the American coach Bradburd pushed him very hard to take it. But he was starting to break into the Kerry panel at the time and turned it down. Surely should be around the top 15 anyway.




  • buyer95 wrote: »
    Can't comment on most of the list as the majority are all from before my time. However Donaghy at 24 is ridiculous. He was one of the very best players in the league, and at 6 7" had a very high skill level and great athlecism. He played the small forward position and often was tasked with defending the opponents USA wing imports. He had an offer to go to a good basketbsll college on an athletic scholarship, and the American coach Bradburd pushed him very hard to take it. But he was starting to break into the Kerry panel at the time and turned it down. Surely should be around the top 15 anyway.

    Only saw Donaghy play live once and he was played off the court by Ronan McGarrity who looked a far superior basketball player to me and also played college in America so probably merits a mention.

    Realise that just probably wasn't a great game for him and i did see some his cup performances on TV where he was excellent; seems to me he was a potentially excellent player who played some great games but don't think he was around long enough to merit a mention in Top 25 Irish players of all-time; top 25 potential, maybe.

    Saw a good few of the rest of those mentioned play. Glad to see Stephen McCarthy listed so highly as thought he was an exceptional player; best player on the court any time i saw him.

    Be interesting to see what some people i know, my dad especially, will say when they read this list; don't think they'll be in full agreement, somehow..

    Anyway, it's great to see an article like this in a national newspaper in it's a great source of debate; have always liked Kieran Shannon as as a writer and think his book on Irish basketball is easily one of the best sports books i've read, Irish or otherwise, whatever about any inaccuracies some have mentioned in other comments.

    Oh, and Liam McHale should definitely be number 1 and it's not even close.




  • Well done Glanmire and UCC demons!




  • 2 cracking close games today so far




  • Well done Glanmire and UCC demons!

    such strenght in dept in both teams they will surely be back again next year for 3 in a row


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