BALLINCOLLIG Basketball Club's Brendan Douanla has become the latest name on an ever-growing list of players to take their basketball talents abroad with a move to the CBA Academy in Tenerife.
Douanla, 18, will follow in the footsteps of a handful of Cork players in joining the academy, including Neptune BC’s Jordan Blount and more recently his friend and club teammate, Luke O’Sullivan.
The 6' 6" Douanla has been a member of Ballincollig BC since 2013, steadily growing as a player under the club’s excellent individual development coaching.
Over that time he won an U14 All-Ireland, a handful of leagues and most recently an U18 Cork Championship.
Douanla spent the following four years being guided Daniel O’Sullivan at both the club and school level with Ballincollig Community School.
"Daniel would always give me the opportunity for extra training whether it was getting shots up after school or training with the older groups.”
The talented playmaker climbed the juvenile ranks, featuring prominently for Cork teams and regional teams, often a year above his own age grade. Douanla’s first international call-up came under Pat Price in 2018 when he was selected on the U16 national squad as a 14-year-old.
In the meantime, Douanla made the important jump from juvenile to senior basketball at club level, slotting seamlessly into a successful Super League setup with Tradehouse Central Ballincollig BC.
"Kieran and Ciaran O’Sullivan helped me to improve my game immensely last season while I was training with the Super League team.
"I developed more physically as a result of the team’s conditioning sessions and training was always intense and at a high level."
Being deprived of two seasons of international basketball sparked a desire to make a return in the green jersey which Douanla did last summer under Paul Kelleher.
The skilled forward was an important cog in Kelleher’s offensive scheme while also flaunting his defensive versatility at the European Championships in Romania.
Douanla is already settling in well to his new life in Tenerife, having flown out earlier this month.
An intense schedule features three sessions a day, resulting in anywhere between four and six hours of basketball on a daily basis. The future is bright for Douanla who has lofty goals of remaining abroad playing basketball either on the continent or across the Atlantic.
"For now my main focus is developing my skill set and knowledge of the game. I look forward to competing once the season kicks off and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me."