This past week has been a pretty busy one to say the least! It was my first week of classes at LYIT, so I got to meet all of my new professors and get a feel for the different modules (courses) that I’ll be taking. (Side note: I am planning on changing my program of study to the M.A. in Governance, Compliance, & Data Protection in Financial Services – possibly more on that in another blog!)
We also had the Basketball Ireland National League 2019-20 launch on Wednesday, where a few players from every team went to the National Basketball Arena in Dublin to take pictures and watch the Cup draw. October 26th marks the first “Cup” weekend which is basically the first round of playoffs. Each team was randomly drawn and paired for this first round – the team that wins moves on to the Cup Quarterfinals on the weekend of Nov. 30/Dec. 1. Lucky for my team, Fabplus Northwest, we drew a bye in the first round so we go straight to the quarterfinals! Then, the Cup Semi-Finals and Cup Finals will be played in January, so instead of the “playoff” process being at the end of the season like it is in America, we have our playoff games spread throughout the year. It was also really nice to see so many of the other Victory Scholars and get to catch up with them since it’s been a few weeks since I last saw them all in Belfast!
It was definitely an adventure trying to get to Dublin for me, Kaylee, Manny, Dom, and the two new additions to our little family: Mario – he’s from Spain and also speaks very little English, but I did come in 3rd place in the Spanish Spelling Bee when I was in fifth grade, so I’d say my español is not too shabby! And our life-saving Letterkenny local, Andy McGeever, who is also on the men’s LYIT Donegal club team. Long story short, all 6 of us traveled together on Tuesday night since we had to be at the arena by 9am on Wednesday. We ended up taking a 4-hour bus ride from Letterkenny to Dublin to meet the man, the myth, the legend – Niall McDermott (He is the head coach of the men’s LYIT Donegal national league team and the head coach for my LYIT college team) – so he could take us to our Air bnb for the night. The tricky part was that we had to take the “Luas to Ro Red Cow” (a foreign language to us) and he would collect us there. Thankfully, Andy led the way to the Luas, which is basically an above-ground subway system in Dublin, and we arrived safe and sound! It may have been a long and somewhat confusing trip, but hey, it’s all about the experience and we definitely won’t forget it! We ended up having a grand time in Dublin City Tuesday night and then took some nice pictures on Wednesday before making our 4-hour trek back to good old Letterkenny!
AND THEN (< family inside joke), we had our last preseason tournament on Saturday in Dublin…(Say what?! we have to make this trip AGAIN in the same week?!) So, after practice on Friday night, Kaylee and I stayed with our head coach of Fabplus, Paul McDevitt, at his beautiful home in Ballyshannon (which is about 40 minutes from Letterkenny) so we could drive to Dublin for our games on Saturday morning. And let me tell you, Paul and his wife SPOILED us! We used their recovery boots (pictured below, amazing!!), drank some Kombucha, and had some delicious muffins before we went to bed, and then had a great breakfast in the morning! We ended up going 1-1 in our games for the day, but we played really well considering we only had 6 players. Then we made our journey back to Letterkenny and celebrated our LYIT Donegal Men’s first win of the season!!
Sunday came around and we had to go back out to Ballyshannon to help coach the boys and girls U16 Academy teams from 12pm-4pm. I’ll definitely write more on these teams in a future blog! (Sneak peek: they play a tournament in SPAIN in April!!)
FINALLY after my week full of traveling and activities, I can take a deep breath, catch up on some Netflix shows, and relax before my week starts all over again.
#7: If you ever use Bus Éireann to get somewhere around Ireland, order your ticket online from their website – it’s cheaper than getting a ticket at the station!
#8: Don’t EVER let Bill Collins convince you to try Turkish Delight…I actually had to spit it out!!🤮
P.S. I mention different teams/coaches that might get confusing, so I’ll sum it up here for future reference!
My National League team is Fabplus Northwest. Our head coach is Paul McDevitt and our assistant coach is Bill Collins.
As an LYIT student, I will also play for the LYIT Women’s college team. Niall McDermott is our head coach for this team.