THE list of Irish professional basketball players is short, the list of Cork players is even shorter.
Having said that, a team in the west of Spain by the name of CD Carbajosa has the privilege of boasting two of them.
Jordan Blount and Adrian O’Sullivan have been flying the Cork Basketball flag overseas for the last number of years, following two very separate pathways.
Blount, 24, has been playing ball abroad for close to a decade. The game of basketball brought the ex-Neptune underage talent from the Canary Islands to the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Following a fruitful four years at UIC, he made the inevitable jump to the professional ranks, now earning his keep as a full-timer.
O’Sullivan on the other hand proceeded to climb the ranks on home soil before uprooting and making the sport his profession. After competing for Ballincollig BC through the youth levels, O’Sullivan quickly became a star in the Super League in a UCC Demons jersey.
Attracting interest from abroad, O’Sullivan made the switch to the Reading Rockets in the UK before spending a season with the Bramsche Red Devils of Germany.
Now both well-seasoned, elite-level athletes, this pair of Cork sporting heroes who grew up just 10 kilometres apart are now living under the same roof as professional basketball players.
O’Sullivan acknowledges Blount’s instant impact.
“Jordan has been a massive help to our team in general. Since he’s arrived he’s done very well, but of course, it’s just a nice feeling to have something from home here as well, especially given the year that we’re in.
Blount also recognises how surreal the moment is for the Cork duo.
“It’s been and will continue to be, a privilege [to play with Adrian].
“He’s someone who I used to go to watch in the Parochial Hall and the Mardyke Arena.
“Being able to share the court at a professional level is something I’ll always cherish.” On the business side of things, it’s been a period of adjustment for CD Carbajosa.
Blount's arrival coincided with the introduction of two other players and the appointment of a new head coach.
Blount explained “since we came it’s a very different team to before, but I think we’re doing quite well.”
O’Sullivan has certainly benefited from the arrival of a fellow Cork-man both on and off the floor and he’s confident that they’re peaking at the right time.
“The goals are to be playing playoff basketball in mid-April.
“With six games left now, we hope to be playing our best basketball down the stretch.
“But overall, this is probably something I’ll look back on in time and appreciate more as our careers move on.
“It’s definitely a cool story to have two boys from the Cork basketball community finding their way in a very respectable league.”