BIG time basketball has returned to Killarney and the progressive St Paul’s club certainly seized the opportunity to make it a successful homecoming.
The club’s senior Scott’s Lakers team finished the season with silverware after an exciting climax to the season saw them secure the National League Division 1B shield.
The Lakers were very competitive against some of the best teams in the league and the real success story of the return to nationwide action was the huge crowds that packed Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre for the home games.
To mark a very successful first season back, the club hosted a special celebratory evening in Scott’s Hotel to celebrate the national league return and the great success enjoyed by the St Paul’s juvenile club.
Scott’s Lakers committee chairman, Aidan Quirke, praised the dedication of all involved in the brave decision to return to national league basketball and he thanked committee members John Brosnan (vice-chairman), Tracey O’Shea (secretary), Sean Brosnan and Mike Pierce (treasurers), Eamonn Keogh (press officer), Paul Sheehan ( club chairman) and Padraig Weldon (development officer).
He also had special mention for Elizabeth Switzer, Connie Brosnan, Sheila Dickson, Jean
Courtney, Frank Courtney, Jim Delaney, Timmy Clifford, Theresa O’Neill, Ruth Courtney, Boris Bencic, Luke Ryan, Colin Kiely and Damien Switzer for their contributions.
The Scott’s Lakers players, led by captain Philip O’Connor, were thanked for their commitment and for securing the title with every member of the team playing their part throughout the season which they chairman described as a rollercoaster ride.
There was also special praise St Paul’s Director of Coaching, Vojkan Bencic, for leading the team in the first part of the season and to Killarney’s own Cormac O’Donoghue who guided the team for the remainder of the season.
Local businesses in Killarney were also thanked for their continued support, particularly Maurice O’Donoghue of Scott’s Hotel who came on board as main sponsor and continued the great history and tradition that the O’Donoghue family has had with Killarney basketball.
Maurice O’Donoghue presented the National League Division One B Shield and medals to the Scott’s Lakers players at the function.
The MVP award for the season went to the Bahamian Antuan Bootle who said it was an honour to accept the award and spoke about the huge enjoyment he got from playing and living in Killarney for the past number of months. He thanked his teammates, co aches, committee, sponsors and fans for their overwhelming support.
Pictures: Eamonn Keogh. Click on individual images for information
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