Win or Go Home, Right Where I Want To Be!

Posted By: T-John Casiello
Posted On: February 28th, 2017
Attending: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Hi guys, as I mentioned briefly in my last blog, I started my internship recently. It is a requirement for the Masters of Marketing program at LYIT. Luckily, Sport Changes Life and coaching basketball have allowed me to connect with and meet a lot of people here. Therefore, I was fortunate to have my coach, Niall, fix me up with an opportunity at his wife's business, Whitehouse Pharmacy in Derry. This is ideal with my healthcare business undergraduate degree and also great to do it with someone you know. Anyways, I spend a couple days a week there and then have my one day of class on Fridays. So far it has been a great experience, I've learned a lot so far and I'm looking forward to my remaining time over the next couple months. 

Speaking of time, these weeks are flying by at this point! 

Furthermore, the college basketball season is going great. We've had back-to-back huge wins. The first came at Dundalk IT. They were the top team in the league and our backs were against the wall. If we lost we would be knocked out of the playoffs and varsities. We just couldn't let that happen! Usually, it takes time for me to build pride for a team, but knowing how much this means to the people of Letterkenny and the people that were responsible for getting us out here, I really wanted to do whatever it took to win for them. Therefore, Jack and I had to come up with a big performance. And that we did. We combined for 80 points, yes 80, Jack (50) and me (30). We ended up winning by a large enough margin to put us into first place, which in turn gave us a home playoff game. So we went from nearly having our season over to being the top seed in one day…

For the Playoff game, we drew Dublin Business School @ Letterkenny IT. They were the second seed from the South Division. All week we hyped up the game at our coaching sessions and practices. We really wanted to get a good crowd to make it an awesome big-game environment like it would be back home. The games up to this point really haven't been overly crowded. However, for this game, the people surely came out and supported us big time (See Blog Cover Picture). The bleachers were packed and it was almost standing room only. It was great to see basketball finally gaining the attention it deserves in Letterkenny. The opposing team came in with two 6'10" bigs…we don't have anyone over 6'1" on the team. Nonetheless, we had a perfect game plan and executed it well. The "yanks," as we've become referred to as, and the rest of the team played great and we had a big win, blowing them out early. Everyone in the community was ecstatic. Over the next couple days, everyone came up to us expressing that they couldn't believe how good we looked. This is the first time many people here have seen Jack and I play together so they were enamored with our performance and the team's performance as well. This big win put us in the All-Ireland Championship for the first time in the school's history. 

Looking back at the start of the season to now, this team has come a very long way. I know it can't be easy for some guys on the team to have Jack and I shooting nearly every time, but they are great about it and fill their roles very well! We also have added some key guys that are stepping big as of late. This is important because we are going to need a perfect all-around performance to pull off the victory in next week's championship game.

Stay tuned for my next blog about the All-Ireland Championship!

Stay Updated! Sign up to our newsletter

Stay Updated! Sign up to our newsletter