IT will a very special day on Sunday for Lauryn Homan as she leads the Brunell Under 18 girls team into the Hula Hoops Under 18 National Cup semi final against a very talented Portlaiose Panthers at the Parochial Hall at 1pm.
It is a great honor for Lauryn to be picked as captain, as she is a very softly spoken and a very modest young lady off the court, however, she is a serious ball player when on the hardwood.
She prefers to do her talking with the ball on the court.
Lauryn is a exceptional three point shooter, and she also have superb vision on transition.
She is also a tough defender that can lock down any player for her coach and team, regardless what position on the court.
This Brunell team have a wealth of talent with Irish International Kelly Sexton, point guard Anna Morrissey, post play Michelle Ugwah and Mia Finnegan is a excellent shooter when she gets open, so along with Homan, this should be a very competitive game.
These two sides met in Dublin in the Laura Brennan Tournament earlier in the season where Brunell were victorious, however, Brunell were missing Lauryn, while Portlaoise were missing four players who were training with the Irish Under 18 team and missed the game.
Homan started playing basketball at the tender age of six years old when her mother Natasha brought her to the Parochial Hall one Sunday morning to the Brunell nursery under Ken Foley.
She fell in love with the game instantly, and the Parochial Hall became her second home for the next ten years.
Homan is what you call in the game as a gym rat for she puts into much hours on hr own practicing on her game, as if she wasn’t at home Natasha ( her mother ) would always know to find her shooting hoops in the Hall, regardless who was training or playing.
Homan played under numerous coaches in the Brunell club, and is very thankful for their time and dedication the gave to her.
She also had a big part to play with the St Vincent’s Secondary School Under the guidance of coach Dommie Mullins.
It is there were she blossomed as a player at school level winning six consecutive Cork titles which is a great accomplishment for any player, but at the last final against St Angela’s it took a clutch three pointer by Homan to win the title for Vincent’s by a mere point.
Lauryn is also on the Tommy O’Mahony’s Irish 18 squad for this year’s European Championship.
Her school coach Dommie Mullins wished Lauryn and her team the best of luck on tomorrow.
“I would personally wish the team the very best of luck tomorrow.
"Lauryn is a wonderful and honest kid, and there’s nothing would give me more pleasure is see her, and her teammates lift the National Cup at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght in a few weeks time,” Dommie said.
Lauryn explains how she got to play basketball, and thanks all the people who have helped her on the way over the years.
“I started playing basketball at the age of six year’s of age, however it wasn’t until I was 13 years old that I began to take it more seriously.
"I was watching my role models Edelman Thornton and Megan O’Leary winning National Cups and the sacrifices they made to achieve their dreams," Lauryn said.
“I would like to take this chance to thank all my coaches over the years, and the club for the chance to lead this team tomorrow.
“The club have a great tradition in National Cups so we try continue that trend and try lead by example to the younger teams in the club.
“I think this will be a very physical game against a very good Portlaoise team.
"We will need to control our own boards and can’t afford to leave their shooters get into space, because they can hurt us if we lose concentration on defense.
“We have some very good players in our group that can shoot the ball extremely well and other girls who are very good inside, so we will just have the belief in our own game if were going to be successful.
“Even thought we are going into this game as raging underdogs, we all know as a group that if we can all play to our potential and leave everything on the court, I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we will be successful tomorrow.
"We have trained hard and we are ready for this semi final.
"One thing for sure if we fail to win this game it certainly won’t be the lack of effort,” concluded Homan.