Fr Mathew's graduate ready for new challenge in US college basketball scene

Fr Mathew's graduate ready for new challenge in US college basketball scene
Fr Mathew's graduate Lainey Nolan in action for the Ireland U16 basketball team at the European Championships at Macaedonia.

CORK basketball star Lainey Nolan recently started her college scholarship at The Hun School of Princeton.

The Fr Matthew’s club player, who first began playing for her beloved club at U10 level, was thrilled to make the move Stateside.

“I feel very fortunate and privileged to have been awarded a scholarship to the Hun School at Princeton, New Jersey. After completing my Leaving Certificate examination, this is indeed a special opportunity for me to spend a year in the USA, where I will register for an academic course and participate in the Hun School basketball programme.”

The teenager couldn’t wait to begin the next chapter in her sporting and academic career with her dream move to New Jersey.

“Realising what a great chance this will be to have so many new experiences, I was more excited than nervous. I am looking forward to making the most of this year abroad. It is a one-year course, during which I will follow a curriculum that includes the following subjects: Economics, Psychology, English, Entrepreneurial Studies and Computer Programming. I was impressed by the courtesy of the Hun School staff, who have been most helpful in relation to all aspects of the programme.”

To obtain the scholarship Lainey had to meet and satisfy a number of key criteria such as a strong club career and international duties with underage Ireland teams. She also had to obtain the required marks in her recent Leaving Certificate. Lainey has enjoyed a very successful and productive club career with Fr Mathew's, while she has also represented the Ireland U16 team with great distinction.

“The Hun School of Princeton is a private, co-educational, secondary boarding school located in New Jersey. The school serves students from sixth through twelfth grades. The criteria for the award of my scholarship included a high standard in basketball, which I was able to satisfy by being picked to play on the Ireland U16 Team, and playing at a high level with Fr Mathew's. It also included a high standard of achievement in my secondary school studies and in the grades I was awarded in the Leaving Certificate examination.”

Lainey Nolan, the former Fr Mathew's club basketball player recently started her college scholarship at The Hun School of Princeton
Lainey Nolan, the former Fr Mathew's club basketball player recently started her college scholarship at The Hun School of Princeton

The sports facilities within The Hun School of Princeton are impressive. They cater for all sporting disciplines and they offer a strong scholarship programme.

“Basketball is such a popular sport in all schools and colleges in the USA. The facilities are of a high standard. The basketball programme will include training, enhancing skills, and participation in a league programme with schools in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania areas as well as competing against other local schools.”

She began playing basketball at the age of nine with her beloved Fr Matthew’s Club.

“Without the help and support of this great club, the way it has developed and the successes it has achieved, I would not have been awarded this scholarship. Indeed, this scholarship is a testimony to the excellent progress Fr Mathew’s is making and the fine contribution it makes to the lives of so many people in the city.

“I was most fortunate to play on a Fr Mathew’s underage team that achieved a lot of local league and championship success over those years. More recently, I was a member of the Fr Mathew’s senior women’s team that has won three titles at national level.”

The basketball ace is very grateful to the many coaches and all associated with the club.

“All of my coaches at Fr Mathews encouraged and guided me in developing my basketball skills, for which I am extremely grateful. Their contribution to my development opened the way to achieving success at provincial and national levels.”

Katie Walshe, Anna Lynch and Lainey Nolan, represented Fr Matthew's for Ireland in 2017. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Katie Walshe, Anna Lynch and Lainey Nolan, represented Fr Matthew's for Ireland in 2017. Picture: Howard Crowdy

One of Lainey’s highlights thus far in her career has been representing the Ireland U16 team at the European Championships in Macaedonia.

“After participating in a selection process that started in October 2015, I was rewarded with a place on the Ireland U16 women’s team to participate in the U16 European Championships which were held in Macedonia in August 2017. We finished in tenth place which was a fantastic result. This exceeded everyone’s expectations. All members of the team were very proud of their achievements.”

Lainey plans to come home for Thanksgiving and at Christmas time to catch up with family and friends.

“I’m looking forward to making the most of this wonderful opportunity. After that, I plan to return and commence my third-level studies in Ireland. My aim is to resume playing with the Fr Mathews U20 and Super League teams for the 2020-21 season.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content