North West Basketballers do Ireland proud in Turkey

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

North West Basketballers do Ireland proud in Turkey
Basketballers from the North West were chosen to represent Team Ireland at last month’s Special Olympics European Unified and Traditional Basketball Tournament and returned from Turkey with bronze medals having come third place overall.

Basketballers from the North West were chosen to represent Team Ireland at last month’s Special Olympics European Unified and Traditional Basketball Tournament and returned from Turkey with bronze medals having come third place overall.

The Irish team over the two-day period of competition in Istanbul was made up of Letterkenny natives Michael Barrett, Chris O’Donnell, Micheal O’Donnell, Daniel Cannon, Joe O’Honlan and Michael Leavy; Oliver Doherty from Buncrana, Dominic McCallion of Castlefin, Carndonagh’s Stephen McCallion and John McElhinney from Milford.

The team was coached by Lee Scanlon from Letterkenny and Strabane duo, Bill McIntyre and Tommy McKay.

Having taken part in the qualifying rounds, Ireland, in 33c heat in the Yaracik Basketball Arena Katel, qualified to take on the top seeds.

Their final group saw Ireland defeat Russia, who were favourites and the eventual gold medal winners in the competition, as well as top basketball nations in the form of Germany and Macedonia.

Their only loss came against Belgium, the country that sealed the silver medal.

There was great effort put in by the players, the coaches, families and volunteers over the duration of the competition in Turkey. New members and volunteers are always welcome and training will start again in September.