Basketball Ireland now focus on returning to the courts this summer

After 2020-'21 season was formally cancelled, the priority is 3x3 action from May for players and the FIBA tournament in Limerick
Basketball Ireland now focus on returning to the courts this summer

Neptune's Sean Jenkins scores in the 2017 National Cup final. There was no cup activity this season. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

BASKETBALL Ireland has been forced to finally pull the plug on the season. 

After a series of delays since the 2020-'21 campaign was postponed on the eve of tip-off back in October, the governing body have had to concede that no competitions will be held before April when the season normally concludes. 

There is still hope that tournaments, such as the 3x3 format, will be possible from May through the summer to give frustrated ballers some chance to take to the hardwood.

The FIBA European Championship for Small Countries are due to be held in Limerick, while some type of competition for underage teams will be vital to retain players given they've missed out on so much school and club activity.

That will depend on Government restrictions of course. And for now, we're still a bit off elite sports like the League of Ireland and inter-county GAA from commencing again.

The indoor element of basketball was an issue with the sport taking place across the winter.

A statement from Basketball Ireland explained: "The decision was made following a meeting on Tuesday evening of the 10 National Committees of Basketball Ireland with the chair of the Basketball Ireland board, Paul McDevitt and secretary general, Bernard O’Byrne, to discuss the status of the 2020-'21 season and what the next steps might be.

It is hoped that an easing of Government restrictions will be allowed soon enough to allow our international sides to resume training and preparations ahead of their FIBA European Championships in June and July. 

"Ireland’s senior men are to have home advantage this summer, with the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries due to be held in Limerick."

Bernard O’Byrne said: "Our target is now to open the 2021/22 season as normal in September, across all levels and all competitions.” 

Paul McDevitt, added: “On behalf of the Board and all at Basketball Ireland I’d like to thank our community for their efforts to support each other during these difficult times. 

"We will come through this together. Basketball Ireland would like to take this opportunity to again thank the Government and Sport Ireland for the financial and logistical support we have received in 2020 and will receive in 2021 to keep our sport alive.”

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