20 questions with Ireland and Ballincollig basketball star Adrian O'Sullivan

Emporium Cork Basketball point guard on finding his best form on the hardwood and coaching off the court
20 questions with Ireland and Ballincollig basketball star Adrian O'Sullivan

Ireland's Adrian O'Sullivan and Erol Antonio Ersek of Austria. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

SPORT has always been integral to Adrian O'Sullivan's life.

His family is steeped in basketball through his parents Francis and Grace and older brother Ciarán, but the Irish international also won a Premier Minor Football county with Ballincollig in 2011 and played hurling and soccer as well as a teen. After great success with UCC Demons and a professional basketball career that took him to England, Spain and Germany, he's now a key component of the Emporium Cork Basketball side challenging for Super League silverware and preparing for a National Cup semi-final in January.

 Adrian O'Sullivan, Ballincollig, rises above Lorcan Murphy, Templeogue. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Adrian O'Sullivan, Ballincollig, rises above Lorcan Murphy, Templeogue. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The UCC graduate is currently working in the sporting arena off the court as well. Based in Frankfield in More&Co, alongside former Nemo county-winner Shane Marshall, O'Sullivan's days involve helping people with nutrition, personal training and sports performance. Given his elite sporting background, he brings a unique perspective to the S&C field but enjoys working with everyone from promising young athletes to those looking to get back to fitness.

He can be contacted on Instagram.

20 QUESTIONS

1. What age are you? 29 

2. When did you start playing? 4-5 years of age with Ballincollig.

3. What is your favourite position to play in? It doesn't bother me too much between Point Guard and Shooting Guard.

4. What other sports did you play growing up? Tried a bit of everything but hurling, football and soccer were my other main sports.

5. Who were the major influences on your sporting career? My family is heavily involved so I would have to go with my parents, my uncle Kieran and my brother Ciaran. Outside of that I've met plenty of people and had many a coach on my journey that have all had a positive influence.

6. Who are your sporting heroes, then and now? I'm a '90s kid from Cork so it's very hard not to go with Roy Keane. Seán Óg was another one when I thought I was going to be a hurler in my early teens. Michael Jordan was then the obvious choice on the basketball side of things. I would still pick Keane and 100% Steph Curry.

7. What was the most memorable game you played and why?

Probably my first underage cap for Ireland, captained the team and had one of the best games in my juvenile career. My first senior cap with my brother back in 2016 as well, first caps are always memorable but that game will always stick out.

The Cork U14 team in 2007. Back: Coach Kieran Sullivan, Kevin Lyle, Luke O'Mahony (c), Ronan O'Sullivan, Brendan Kiely, Dan MacEoin, Craig Forde; Front: Adrian O'Sullivan (vc), Roy Downey, Ben Noonan, Brian O'Sullivan, Alan O'Donovan, Eoghan Cotter and Jamie McCarthy. Picture: Damien Quirke
The Cork U14 team in 2007. Back: Coach Kieran Sullivan, Kevin Lyle, Luke O'Mahony (c), Ronan O'Sullivan, Brendan Kiely, Dan MacEoin, Craig Forde; Front: Adrian O'Sullivan (vc), Roy Downey, Ben Noonan, Brian O'Sullivan, Alan O'Donovan, Eoghan Cotter and Jamie McCarthy. Picture: Damien Quirke

8. What was the most memorable game you attended? I got to see Boston Celtics play OKC back in 2012 in the Boston Garden. Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, a lot of Hall of Famers played that night.

9. What was your biggest sporting disappointment? Losing an All Ireland final U17 to a team that we beat consistently from U12 and after that U17 season. A game that will never sit right with me, unfortunately.

10. Who was your toughest opponent? 

As a team, CEZ Nymburk from Czech Republic back in 2015. Without doubt the highest level of any game that I've played. As an individual, I played against Donovan Mitchell in 2012 while I was in High School in New York, he's now an NBA All-Star.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers fights for a loose ball with Evan Mobley #4 and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Picture: Jason Miller/Getty Images
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers fights for a loose ball with Evan Mobley #4 and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Picture: Jason Miller/Getty Images

11. What is your favourite venue to play in? I love the Mardyke Arena and I have a lot of great memories there. Neptune is always a great place to play and who doesn't love playing in the National Basketball arena in Tallaght?

12. What are the most important traits in your sport? I would say having short-term memory is massive. We make hundreds of decisions as basketball players every game, it's constantly up and down and you can be involved in every play on both ends, moving on to the next play quickly is huge.

13. What advice would you give young players starting out? Ask plenty of questions, take risks, get out of your comfort zone and enjoy playing the game with the people around you. Friendships in sport go a long way. The journey in any dressing room in any sport is a special place when you are all fighting for the same thing.

14. If you could go to any sporting event what would it be? Game 7 of the NBA finals

15. What movies and TV shows are you streaming? There's a mix. My most recent is Peaky Blinders and before that I finished Breaking bad for the second time (a classic).

16. What is on your Spotify playlist? A lot of hip-hop, R&B and rap but there's a big mix really. My family have a huge interest in music and whatever is played in the house I'm more often than not enjoying it.

17. What is your favourite book? I'm definitely on Netflix or Spotify before I'm opening a book but I would read autobiographies from a lot of different sports people.

18. Who do you enjoy following on social media? Couple of good follows on Twitter but NBA on ESPN is always a good way to keep up with the news and highlights.

19. What is your cheat meal when you're not training? Pizza no doubt.

20. What are your sporting goals from here? Maintain my position in the Irish senior men's team. to put it simply, win as many trophies as possible with my club team.

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