Ireland Basketball

Posted By: T-John Casiello
Posted On: October 5th, 2016
Attending: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

I would like to begin this blog by talking about the transition to playing professional basketball over here in Ireland. I must say it is quite the jump going from Division 2 basketball in the States to the Irish National League in many ways. First, the daily routine is very different. It is much more relaxed and laid back here. For example, we only practice twice a week most times. That is entirely different from what I am used too! In college at the University of the Sciences we practiced six days a week, and in high school, at Wildwood Catholic, it was seven days a week with hardly any breaks. So it is a pleasant transition to only having practice twice a week. I’m not complaining about it at all! Next, many people on my team are employed or are in school, and the age of them ranges from 17 to 34. Even that is a little different. For the most part, I am used to playing with guys that are the same age as me, not guys that are 12 years older than me. So as you can see there are quite a few differences in the basketball culture here in Ireland.


Some of the FIBA rules here threw me for a loop as well. In the first preseason game, the other team was shooting foul shots and we only had three guys lined up along on the lane. I went to walk in and the ref looked at me like I was crazy. I didn’t know it, obviously, but you are only allowed three, not four like back home. Then, a couple other tough ones to get used are that the players cannot call timeouts and you are not allowed to throw the ball in the backcourt if you are taking it out of bounds. Also, the three-point line is a good foot further and the ball is tough to get used too! Sheesh when it gets a little sweat on it…forget it! Layups only!


Over the weekend, an older club in the area needed a coach for a tournament in Longford (Blog Picture). Of course I said I would do it… someone gave me some good advice, they said, “Try to say yes to as many things as possible.”  The team was made up of a group of guys from Derry, including my National League coach, Niall. He convinced me saying it would be some “good craic.” I am so glad I chose to go. I met some great people and got to see a different part of the country. Most importantly, though, was the handful of laughs I had! It will definitely be something I will look back on after the year and just laugh at! My American accent also cost me about 50 euros. I told the cab driver to take me back to my hotel, Keenan’s (Not the bar in Wildwood lol), but he took me to Keenagh. That happened to be the name of a town in the complete opposite direction of the hotel, Keenan’s. Other than that small mishap it was definitely good craic! I hope I can get back to that tournament with those guys one time in the future.

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