Meeting to chart the future of basketball in Killarney

A capacity crowd watching Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s in a national league division one basketball clash in Killarney Sports Centre.
Pictures: Eamonn Keogh

IT is considered by many to be the spiritual home of Irish basketball thanks to the incredible exploits of the former St Vincent’s team of superstars, spearheaded by the late great Paudie O’Connor, Tim Regan and co, in the glorious 1980s.

And keeping that tradition in mind, a meeting to discuss the future of national league men`s basketball in Killarney will take place in Scotts’s Hotel, Killarney on this Wednesday, February 12, at 7.30pm.
National league basketball returned to Killarney in 2017 after a nine year absence and  Scotts Lakers/St Paul’s have enjoyed very successful campaigns on the court since then. The side is currently in second place on the division one men’s table and may be in a position to challenge for promotion to the superleague.
Crowds at Killarney Sports Centre over the past three years have been among the biggest attendances across the division one and superleague. Clearly, there is an appetite and support for top flight basketball in Killarney and club officers are anxious to generate feedback to plan for the future of the game in the town.

The late Paudie O’Connor

This public meeting is open to everyone and all views and opinions will be welcome and appreciated. Killarney has a strong and proud basketball tradition dating back several decades. The Scott’s Lakers national league committee is appealing to anyone who has been involved in basketball over the years to make a special effort to attend.

The meeting is open to past and present players, officers and supporters, parents of juvenile players and also to people who never played or were involved in the game but are
keen to air their views.

A hugecrowd watching Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s in action

There is a huge juvenile participation of over 400 young players in St Paul’s Basketball Club and having a senior  team competing at national level, gives these young players something to aspire to for the future.

The presence in town of American and European players involved in the coaching and development of the club’s juvenile teams has been a very positive step in recent years and the emergence of more and more talented young players is encouraging for the future of basketball in Killarney.
The late Paudie O’Connor and the Gleneagle-St Vincent’s brought the first Americans to Irish basketball in 1979 and enjoyed national league success at the time. St Vincent’s competed in the national league until 1987 and St Paul’s – founded in 1985 – first entered the national league in 1993, competing at Superleague level until 2008 and division one until 2009.
St Paul’s returned to national league action in 2017, under the Scott’s Lakers banner, and have established themselves as one of the top teams in division one since then.
A big turnout at the public meeting next Wednesday night would certainly demonstrate the support for the continuation of national league basketball in Killarney