We finally got to play our first game! This weekend, we went to IT Carlow to play in our first preseason tournament as a club team. I was tired when we woke up early on Friday morning to make the trip but I got more excited as it got closer to game time. The tournament was similar to when I played for my travel basketball team when I was in high school in the sense that we played multiple games in one day. We were only able to bring seven players to the games so we only had two subs. However, the club basketball rules in the Irish league are that you cannot have two Americans on the court at the same time. This meant that the other scholar, Ryan Oliver, and I could not play together at all. This made it a bit difficult at times because it meant that everyone else on the team only got one sub since Ryan and I only subbed for each other.
We started the weekend strong with a good win against Sligo. We won by about ten points but in the final minutes of the game I injured my elbow diving for a ball. I didn’t play the rest of that game but I was able to play the rest of the weekend with plenty of ice and Aleve. We continued to carry over our wins against Kilkenny and Killorglin to finish at the top of our bracket. With confidence and our team chemistry building, we were able to beat Carlow in the semifinals. Unfortunately, our lack of numbers caught up to us and we lost in the championship to Killorglin, who we had already beaten the day before. I am happy to say that I am proud of our Ulster Elks team for competing as well as we did and I fully expect us to continue to improve on our strong start to our season. #ElksOverEveryone