Ireland national basketball team
The Ireland national basketball team (Irish: Foireann cispheile náisiúnta na hÉireann) represents the island of Ireland in men's international basketball competition. It is governed by Basketball Ireland with players from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland plays their home matches at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin.
|FIBA ranking||101 |
|FIBA zone||FIBA Europe|
|National federation||Basketball Ireland|
|Nickname(s)||The Green Army|
|FIBA World Cup|
|Championship for Small Countries|
Ireland doesn't have much history on the international stage, as they have yet to reach qualification to top tournaments being the EuroBasket or the FIBA World Cup. However, the national team did manage to reach the Summer Olympics once, in 1948.
The Amateur Basketball Association of Ireland (ABAI; now Basketball Ireland) was formed in 1945 and affiliated to FIBA in 1947. An indoor version of basketball had been played in the Irish Army from 1936, but using non-standard rules to create an indoor winter substitute for Gaelic football; until 1943, the Army Athletic Council officially recognised only Gaelic games. The ABAI sent a team of the best Army players to the 1948 Olympic tournament in nearby London, despite the refusal of Army command to release the players for intensive training. The team coaches were officers unfamiliar with the sport, who outranked the players and ignored their advice. Although many top sides were absent from the London Games in the aftermath of World War II, the Irish team finished last, losing every match heavily; the worst a 71–9 loss to Mexico, who finished fourth. Only two members of the team were over 6 feet (1.8 m) tall.
The team's standard improved gradually from the 1970s to the 2000s, as more school leavers won scholarships to play US college basketball, and some Irish American professional players took up eligibility to compete for their ancestral country. Ireland entered European-zone Olympic qualification tournaments in 1972, 1976, 1984, and 1988, losing every match each time. In 1988, Ireland finished runner-up in the inaugural Promotion Cup, the third tier of EuroBasket, later named EuroBasket Division C, and now the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries. In 1993, the National Basketball Arena opened in Dublin, which became the team's new permanent home. Division C was hosted there the following year, and Ireland beat Cyprus 81–78 in the final to gain promotion to EuroBasket Division B. Ireland narrowly failed to win promotion to Division A in FIBA EuroBasket 2005 Division B, losing to Denmark by 4 points after having won the first game in Dublin by 10 points.
In February 2010, during the Irish financial crisis, Basketball Ireland announced that it was €1.2m in debt and was deactivating its senior international squads to cut costs. In December 2015, the team was reactivated for 2016.
In December 2015, it was announced that Ireland would play at the 2016 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries. The team finished in the fourth position overall.
Ireland played in the 2018 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries, held in San Marino from 26 June to 1 July. After finishing 1–1 in group play—losing to Malta then defeating Andorra–Ireland lost to Norway and then defeated Gibraltar to finish in third place.
FIBA World Cup
Championship for Small Countries
Roster for the 2018 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries
|Ireland national basketball team roster|
Head coach position
- Pat Burke – Only Irish-born to have played in the NBA, played for Orlando Magic & Phoenix Suns. Also a Euroleague and ULEB Eurocup winner with Panathinaikos BC and Real Madrid Baloncesto
- Marty Conlon – NBA player for Seattle SuperSonics, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Bullets, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Clippers, but not born in Ireland
- Cal Bowdler – NBA player for Atlanta Hawks, but not born in Ireland
- Jay Larrañaga – former captain of Ireland national team
- Billy Donlon – former head coach of the Wright State University men's basketball team and as of 2019 head coach of UMKC.
- Donnie McGrath - Irish American, he played for Anadolu Efes, Spartak St. Petersburg and Žalgiris Kaunas amongst others
1948 Olympic Games: finished 23rd among 23 teams
4 Donald O'Donovan, 5 Frank O'Connor, 6 Paddy Crehan, 7 Jimmy McGee, 8 Bill Jackson, 9 Harry Boland, 10 Tommy Keenan, 12 Dermot Sheriff, 13 Danny Reddin, 14 Paddy Sheriff, 15 Jim Flynn, 16 Christy Walsh (Coach: ?)
2016 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries: finished 4th among 8 teams
|Ireland national basketball team roster|
- "FIBA Ranking Presented by Nike". FIBA. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- Mac Lua, Brendan (1967). "12: The Passing Years". The steadfast rule : a history of the G.A.A. ban. Dublin: Press Cuchulainn. pp. 85–87. OCLC 16988629.
- "Ireland: 1948 Olympic Games : Tournament for Men". Results archive. FIBA. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Hunt, Tom (July–August 2012). "Ireland 'slam-dunked': basketball at the 1948 games". History Ireland. 20 (4). doi:10.2307/41588713.
- "Ireland: 1972 European Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men". Results archive. FIBA. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Ireland: 1976 European Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men". Results archive. FIBA. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Ireland: 1984 European Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men". Results archive. FIBA. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Ireland: 1988 European Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men". Results archive. FIBA. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Duggan, Keith (24 February 2010). "Basketball Ireland pull plug on international sides". The Irish Times. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
- "IRELAND SENIOR MEN RETURN TO ACTION". BasketballIreland.ie. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- "Ireland's men's basketball team to re-enter European competition in 2016". Inside the games. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- "Ireland - FIBA European Championship for Small Countries". fiba.basketball. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
- "Ireland at the 2018 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "Pete Strickland takes over as head man of the Irish men's national team". Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- "Basketball Ireland names Mark Keenan coach of the men's national team". Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- "Billy Donlon will draw from his Northwestern, Michigan days to build UMKC basketball". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
- "Ireland at the 2016 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Ireland - FIBA European Championship for Small Countries, FIBA.com, Retrieved 10 January 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ireland national basketball team.|