WITH the uncertainty over the coming youth basketball season in Ireland, Fr Mathew’s Ryan Nolan has made the decision to spend next season in the USA.
Nolan, 16, will be substituting his transition year at the Presentation Brothers College for a year at The Hun School of Princeton in New Jersey where he’ll play and study for the duration of the school year.
The shooting guard will be following in the footsteps of his older sister, Lainey, which he claims has made the move seamless.
“Her accounts of all she experienced there, both in the classroom and on the basketball court, as well as the extracurricular activities and the strong friendships she made have given me the confidence to embark on what will be a completely new experience.
“It helps to have a good knowledge about what I can expect at The Hun School, and I am lucky to have Lainey’s advice.”
Nolan was lucky enough to visit his sister during her time at the school which clearly fuelled the desire for him to attend the school himself.
“I was so impressed with the school and all its facilities, particularly the basketball programme. I felt that a year at Hun School was something I would dearly like to experience.
“After that visit, I was determined to work hard to meet the academic and basketball standards required by The Hun School.”
The school is situated just a five-minute drive from the prestigious Princeton University and has quite often acted as a stepping stone to colleges of the same calibre.
However, Nolan hopes to use the one year stint to better himself before returning to Cork the following year.
“The main motivation for going was the amazing prospect of experiencing further high-level basketball coaching in a new environment and competitive basketball inter-school team competitions. This would further develop my basketball ability, and thereby enable me to contribute to Fr Mathew's Basketball Club after I return.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland, Nolan along with every other underage basketball player in the country have been deprived of competitive basketball for nearly 18 months.
The move away will certainly be a welcome return to normality as Nolan eagerly awaits the return to play.
“I am all too aware of how exceptional an opportunity this is, and I will do my best to make good progress in all aspects of the year’s programme at Hun School.
“I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped me to secure this opportunity, and I look forward to getting started.”