Tala Fam Thiam: Meet the Spanish tyro who moved to Blue Demons at 17

Talented young basketball players is now part of the Demons family, in every sense
Tala Fam Thiam: Meet the Spanish tyro who moved to Blue Demons at 17

Tala Fam Thiam, UCC Demons, warms up before a recent game in the Mardyke Arena. Picture: Larry Cummins.

BLUE DEMONS are in their 56th year competing in Irish basketball have produced some wonderful players during that time and their latest key signing hails from Alicante in Spain.

Enter 20-year-old Tala Thiam Fam whose decision to join the club as a raw 17-year-old has proved the best move in his young career.

So in the summer of 2017 in the sizzling heat of Spain how does a young man agree to pack his bags and come to Cork to join a club he had never heard of?

“Stephen O’Sullivan a former member of Blue Demons and his wife Maria live in Spain approached me at a camp and asked would I be interested in playing basketball in Cork and I duly agreed!” 

Tala didn’t know anything about Cork or Ireland but for the past four years, he has played with Demons, starting out at U18 level. 

Now rated one of the most athletic players in the country he paid tribute to Michael and Colette O’Leary in the manner they have looked after him.

“They are an incredible family and have looked out for me from day 1 and I could never repay the kindness they have shown me since I came to Cork."

 Tala Fam Thiam, UCC Demons, scores a dunked basket, enjoyed by Jack O'Leary. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Tala Fam Thiam, UCC Demons, scores a dunked basket, enjoyed by Jack O'Leary. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Tala Fam is now a hugely popular figure in the Blue Demons club and his impressions of Ireland are interesting.

“Cork is great full of loyal and genuine people particularly in my club and if only the sun would shine more it would be a dream of a city to live.” 

It is interesting to listen to Tala about his love for Blue Demons as he wants to repay them by getting some silverware back in the cabinet.

“Over the years I have listened about the history of Demons and the sadness and depression that was over the club when they were forced to withdraw from the Super League.” 

Demons are presently unbeaten in the league and with a cup final looming on Saturday, he is keenly looking forward to helping them win in the presence of his mother.

“My mother Arame is flying into Dublin from Spain on Friday and I desperately want to show her how my game has progressed since I began playing with Demons.

“I am not contemplating defeat because if we play to our form no team can beat us in this division because we have so many weapons in the squad.” 

Tala Fam Thiam, UCC Demons, gets ready to defend Jonathan Garcia, Fr Mathew's. Picture: Larry Cummins 
Tala Fam Thiam, UCC Demons, gets ready to defend Jonathan Garcia, Fr Mathew's. Picture: Larry Cummins 

The Sunday's Well outfit were involved against the highly-rated Sligo All-Stars in a mouth-watering semi-final and it has to be much of the same against Drogheda Wolves in the final.

“The one plus is that we have Kyle Hosford as he is always there for all the players and what a leader he is on court.

“Our coach Danny O’Mahony and assistant Stuart Rodgers always have the team at heart and as a club, I don’t think you could meet a better group of people.” 

The Spanish ace has a younger brother and a sister, who is making great strides in basketball back in her home country.

Tala Thiam Fam is not only a gifted player but is a genuine person who wants to deliver for the northsiders this weekend at the National Basketball Arena.

“The cup would be great but to be honest I want to win the league and play in the Super League as this great club deserves to be back in the big time.”

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