Blaze members named on Ireland u18 team for European Challengers

Irish U18 international Maria Kealy. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Basketball Ireland U18 women’s head coach Tommy O’Mahony has named his 12-person final squad for the FIBA European Challengers in late July and it includes two players from the Letterkenny Blaze club.

Maria Kealy, is one of four uncapped players and is in line for her international debut.

Kealy is joined by fellow Blaze member Sharon Cunningham.

The Europeans will take place in Klatovy, Czech Republic from 27th July – 1st August with Ireland in Group B playing Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey and Serbia.

Ireland U18 Women’s Squad:
Lucy Coogan (Kilkenny Stars), Shannon Cunningham (Letterkenny Blaze), Hazel Finn (Maree) Ellie Glavin (Tullamore BC), Emma Glavin (Tullamore BC), Sarah Hickey (Waterford Wildcats), Rebecca Hynes (Meteors), Maria Kealy (Letterkenny Blaze), Sinéad Keane (Meteors), Paris McCarthy (St. Mary’s Castleisland), Kara McCleane (Titans), Ella O’Donnell (Meteors).

Head coach Tommy O’Mahony hailed the hard work and dedication of his squad ahead of the FIBA European Challengers, “Over the last month the squad have put in a tremendous effort in their preparation for the FIBA European Challengers. We are delighted with the effort and application that the players have shown thus far. Due to the fact that we have been off court for a long period we had to adjust our plans, which the players have wholeheartedly bought in to”, he said.

O’Mahony added, “We are looking forward to testing our skills against some of the best countries in Europe. While we are sure all the girls are delighted to make it this far, they also realise that a lot of effort is required in the next couple of weeks to make sure we are in prime condition to compete at this level. Bringing the squad down to 12 was an incredibly difficult task and the management staff would like to thank all panel members to date for their efforts. While some players are disappointed that they missed out, we are sure they will come back stronger when the season starts.”