NEPTUNE will embark on their most exciting basketball challenge to date when they travel to Barcelona to participate in the U14 Euro Basketball Cup on Thursday.
This is an annual tournament regarded as one of the most prestigious and competitive basketball tournaments for underage players in Europe.
In total over 70 teams will participate which will consist of representations from 12 European Countries and for the first time ever the tournament will feature teams from the United States.
Neptune’s journey began in August 2016 when manager Steve Carroll and coach Michael Hennessy identified this tournament as the ultimate target goal to culminate the 2016/2017 U13 season.
Planning and preparation began in earnest in September 2016 with a massive fundraising campaign put in place.
The teams regular season continued as normal with the team finishing competitively in all competitions, credit for this success is largely due to the coaching staff of coach Michael Hennessy and his assistants Michael Leahy, Jim Wolfe and Denis Daly.
The mantle of assistant coach now passes to Barry Field who will travel with Steve Carroll and Michael Hennessy.
In total a Neptune entourage of 35 will travel to Barcelona for the five-day adventure, made up of players, coaches, club members, family members and team supporters.
Club chairman Paul Barrett says this is an exciting time for the youth of the club to experience basketball at one of the biggest stages.
“I would like to compliment all concerned that ensured young members of our club will have a trip to relish and memories to cherish,” said Paul Barrett.
Manager Steve Carroll explained that their fundraising campaign exceeded all expectations.
“We are very grateful to the local businesses and local community who gave this exciting adventure their full support,” said Steve Carroll.
Meanwhile, former Glanmire star Chantel Alford has joined Killester for the new ladies Super league season, while Roy Downey has returned to Neptune to play with Paul Kelleher's side in the first division next season.
The 3x3 squads for the Irish Senior Men’s and Women’s teams have been announced ahead of the Europe Cup which will take place in Andorra on June 24-25 (Men) and Poltiers, France on June 23-24 (Women).
Hall has also announced a squad of four for the Women's 3x3 Europe Cup, including two players from Cup and Regular Season winning side, Ambassador UCC Glanmire, Gráinne Dwyer and Claire Rockall - who was also the 2017 Women’s Super League Player of the Year. They will take to the court alongside Niamh Dwyer (Fr Mathew's) and Fiona O’Dwyer (ASD Basket Femminile Stabia). The squad will face off against Poland and the Czech Republic in their group games.
Ireland Senior Men 3x3 team 2017: Jason Killeen (Templeogue), Stephen James (Templeogue), Paul Freeman (SSE Airtricity Moycullen), Sean Flood (Santa Fe Community College).
Ireland Senior Women 3x3 team 2017: Gráinne Dwyer (Ambassador UCC Glanmire), Claire Rockall (Ambassador UCC Glanmire), Niamh Dwyer (Fr Mathew's), Fiona O’Dwyer (ASD Basket Femminile Stabia).