Strong Cork presence in the Irish basketball squad set to rock the Mardyke

Strong Cork presence in the Irish basketball squad set to rock the Mardyke
Grainne Dwyer (centre) with from right, Danielle O'Leary, Edel Thornton, Hannah Thornton, Aine McKenna and Amy Waters at the River Lee Hotel: Picture: Gavin Browne

EDEL Thornton is back in town as she prepares to help Ireland win the Small Countries European Championship.

Thornton, the former Brunell star is now strutting her skills with Quinnipiac University in the States, but is now focused on Irish duty in the international event to be held at the Mardyke Arena from June 25 to July 1.

“It will be fun for me personally to be back playing in my beloved city in front of the home fans but on the serious side I have always been proud to represent my country,” said Thornton.

Thornton has thrived in the US college scene, competing against some of the best athletes in the world.

“I am fortunate to be playing in a top-class college and who could believe I am in my final year of the four-year scholarship next season how time flies when you are enjoying life.”

Life after basketball is something that she takes seriously too.

“I will definitely come home and do my Masters but I am contemplating playing in Europe for a year. Now it’s a case of not looking too far ahead and enjoy what I am doing at the moment.”

Thornton arrived back in Ireland last week and joined up with the Irish team that she hopes can make history at the Mardyke Arena.

“It would be a major achievement for us to win this championship and I can feel a great sense of confidence in the squad that the girls will be ready to battle.”

The Irish team will have six Leeside-based players with four coming from Super League champions Glanmire and Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell getting two in the final 12.

Grainne Dwyer of Glanmire will captain the team with teammates Claire Rockall, Aine McKenna and Casey Grace also in the squad with Brunell’s Amy Waters and Danielle O’Leary completing the Cork based sextet, before you add in northsider Thornton. McKenna is originally from Kerry, Dwyer hails from Tipp, while Rockall is a Galway native.

There is also a Cork representation in the coaching staff with Mark Scannell at the helm, plus Francis O’Sullivan and Paul Kelleher as assistant coaches and Grace O’Sullivan the team manager.

Ireland open their campaign on June 26 with a clash against Norway and face further pool games against Luxembourg and Cyprus. 


 The Ireland Senior Women’s team 2018 is:

Aine McKenna, Ambassador UCC Glanmire (Listowel, Co. Kerry) 

Amy Waters, Singleton SuperValu Brunell (Gurranabraher, Co. Cork) 

Casey Grace, Ambassador UCC Glanmire (Carrigaline Co. Cork) 

Claire Rockall, Ambassador UCC Glanmire (Maree, Co. Galway) 

Danielle O'Leary, Singleton SuperValu Brunell (Gurranabraher, Co. Cork) 

Edel Thornton, Quinnipiac University (Gurranabraher, Co. Cork)

Fiona O'Dwyer, A.S.D Basket Femminile Stabia (Stamford, Connecticut, USA) Grainne Dwyer, Ambassador UCC Glanmire (Thurles, Co. Tipperary) 

Hannah Thornton, Pyrobel Killester (Clontarf, Co. Dublin) 

Sarah Woods, DCU Mercy (Clontarf, Co. Dublin) 

Sorcha Tiernan, Courtyard Liffey Celtics (Leixlip, Co. Kildare) 

Stephanie O'Shea, Maxol WIT Wildcats (Butlerstown, Co. Waterford).

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