Cork Basketball: 10 clubs feature in Ireland underage squads

Neptune and Cobh have the highest Leeside representation across the Irish U16, U17 and U18 panels with five players each
Cork Basketball: 10 clubs feature in Ireland underage squads

Ballincollig Basketball Club's Rory O'Flynn is part of the Ireland U18 squad. Picture: Mike Moynihan/Ballincollig BC

THERE is a strong Cork presence on the Irish basketball squads as the winter programmes begin at U16, U17 and U18 level.

Neptune and Cobh are well represented, with Dylan O'Rourke, Justin Raheem, Deniss Brusevics and Nagalis Vaivada at U16 and Sean Ryan at U18, while Cobh's strong underage work, driven by Dominic Foster, means they have four at U16, Francesca Kyamagero, Lucy Walsh, Clodagh Downey and Katie Tarrant, and two on the U17 development squad: Lucy O'Shea and Sarahrose Walsh.

 Cobh girls Katie Tarrant, Francesca Kyamagero and Isabelle Bardsley, at the Shooting Stars basketball camp at Coláiste Choilm in 2019. Picture: David Keane.
Cobh girls Katie Tarrant, Francesca Kyamagero and Isabelle Bardsley, at the Shooting Stars basketball camp at Coláiste Choilm in 2019. Picture: David Keane.

Brunell duo Rachel Lynch and Rebecca Sexton are included in the U18 panel with Abbie Lyons at U16. Sexton, a student in Carrigaline Community School, was part of coach O’Mahony’s squad that achieved a fantastic ninth-place finish at FIBA’s U18 European Championship in Bulgaria this summer.

Talented Ballincollig point guard Rory O'Flynn, whose older brother Seán plays Super League for the club, features in Paul Kelleher's U18 set-up, with Village duo Billy Bell and Tadhg Murphy picked by new U16 head coach Michael O'Leay.

Mallow have made strides in recent seasons, including an U16 championship last spring when they beat a highly-rated Limerick Celtics in the final and Pharrell Osagie has been promoted directly to the U18 squad with Stephen Emukperuo continuing his development at U17.

Two Glanmire girls are involved, Chloe O'Driscoll at U16 and Ella O'Sullivan (U17).

Carrigaline's Noah Vaicekonis will train with the U17 men's crop and Lilli Hughes with the U17 women's group.

Blue Demons' Daryl Cuff, the son of well-known Demons Super League player Carleton, is set to be a key player at U18 and has been a standout on Leeside from an early age.

 Daryl Cuff, UCC Demons, scores against Abbey Seals Dublin Lions earlier this season. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Daryl Cuff, UCC Demons, scores against Abbey Seals Dublin Lions earlier this season. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Youghal centre Molua Mac Seain has been selected at U16 and Mikolaj Urbanski (Labanga) at U17, with Bantry's Pa Curran a coach at that grade.

Basketball Ireland has squads in place as at U14 and U15 but they are regionalised to spread the net as wide as possible and minimise travel. Here in Cork, Keith Daly, Paul Kelleher, Dominic Foster and Sara Perrson are among the coaches involved with those grades.

The U17s will operate on a similar basis, expanded to include more young players, and will be overseen by Ballincollig's Ciarán O'Sullivan.

Neptune coach Keith Daly is involved with the Cork U14s this season. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Neptune coach Keith Daly is involved with the Cork U14s this season. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

U16 WOMEN:

Abbie Lyons (Brunell);

Clodagh Downey (Cobh);

Francesca Kyamagero (Cobh);

Lucy Walsh (Cobh);

Katie Tarrant (Cobh);

Chloe O'Driscoll (Glanmire).

U16 MEN:

Billy Bell (Ballincollig);

Tadhg Murphy (Ballincollig);

Dylan O'Rourke (Neptune);

Justin Raheem (Neptune);

Dennis Brusevics (Neptune);

Nagalis Vaivada (Neptune);

Molua Mac Seain (Youghal).

Neptune point guard Dylan O'Rourke puts pressure on Ballincollig Basketball Club's Tadhg Murphy in Parochial Hall. Picture: Mike Moynihan/ Ballincollig BC
Neptune point guard Dylan O'Rourke puts pressure on Ballincollig Basketball Club's Tadhg Murphy in Parochial Hall. Picture: Mike Moynihan/ Ballincollig BC

U17 WOMEN:

Lilli Hughes (Carrigaline);

Lucy O'Shea (Cobh);

Sarahrose Walsh (Cobh);

Ella O'Sullivan (Glanmire).

U17 MEN:

Noah Vaicekonis (Carrigaline);

Mikolaj Urbanski (Labanga);

Stephen Emukperuo (Mallow).

U18 WOMEN:

Rachel Lynch (Brunell);

Rebecca Sexton (Brunell).

Cork GAA legend Nicholas Murphy presenting new school team jerseys sponsored by Collins Supervalu Carrigaline to Pat Looney: Deputy Principal, with Rebecca Sexton and Shane D O'Neill. Picture: Siobhan Russell
Cork GAA legend Nicholas Murphy presenting new school team jerseys sponsored by Collins Supervalu Carrigaline to Pat Looney: Deputy Principal, with Rebecca Sexton and Shane D O'Neill. Picture: Siobhan Russell

U18 MEN:

Rory O'Flynn (Ballincollig);

Daryl Cuff (Blue Demons);

Pharrell Osagie (Mallow);

Sean Ryan (Neptune).

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