The Sport Changes Life Foundation will host Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coaching Clinics, sponsored by Aer Lingus, to promote the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic!

May 9th, 2017 | NEWS

Belfast, Northern Ireland – To promote the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic Sport Changes Life and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has teamed up with Aer Lingus, the official Airline of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic and Basketball Ireland, the governing body for basketball, to initiate the first of many community engagement activities related to the Belfast Classic designed to create a positive impact and legacy for basketball in Ireland by offering the ‘Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic MAAC Clinics Sponsored by Aer Lingus’ throughout the island of Ireland from May 15th to May 18th 2017.

The tour will consist of basketball clinics for players and coaches featuring Head Coaches from MAAC women’s basketball teams including Trish Fabbri (Quinnipiac University), Lynn Milligan (Rider University), Ali Jacques (Siena College) and Patty Coyle (Saint Peter’s University) along with Jessica Hegmann, MAAC Senior Associate Commissioner & Alexis Wayne MAAC Director of Women’s Basketball.

The Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic MAAC Clinics sponsored by Aer Lingus is the beginning of a series of community outreach events to help promote not only the event but the game of basketball across island of Ireland,

“We are honoured to be hosting the MAAC coaches in the build up to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic. Working with, the official airline partner, Aer Lingus and our on the ground travel partner Chaka travel and Basketball Ireland, we are excited to bring this level of coaching to the island of Ireland. At the heart of our Foundation we aim to raise the aspirations of young people through education and sport and what better way to continue our work than creating an opportunity for our young athletes to learn from the very best coaches in their chosen sport of basketball. Through these clinics we hope to continue to raise the aspirations of young people and show the visiting MAAC coaches that there are potentially more Susan Morans, Suzanne Maguires, Orla O’Reillys and Edel Thorntons in Ireland. We aim to continue to inspire generations of young people in our quest to help change lives through sport.” Said Sport Changes Life Founder Prof Deirdre Brennan.

The MAAC coaches will arrive in Ireland, thanks to our airline partner Aer Lingus on Monday, May 15th and deliver three clinics across the island.

“Aer Lingus is honored to be working with the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, Sport Changes Life and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on this historic and impactful community event. We look forward to hosting athletes, friends, families, and coaches on board our flights, and encouraging basketball players in Ireland to continue to find fulfillment through education and sport.” – Jack Foley, VP Aer Lingus North America

A head of the arrival of our visiting MAAC women’s basketball coaches to the island of Ireland the community is looking forward to getting behind the initiative;

“Basketball Ireland is delighted to support this new initiative to promote our great sport in a most positive way. We welcome our American colleagues to our shores and hope that their enthusiasm will inspire growing participation and interest in our sport throughout the island of Ireland.” – Bernard J. O’Byrne, Secretary General, Basketball Ireland.


See below for Date, Location and times.


Monday: 15th May

Where: La Salle College Belfast

Time: 7pm – 10pm


Date: Wednesday 17th May

Where: Oblate Hall, Inchicore, Dublin

Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm


Date: Thursday 18th May

Where: Parochial Hall, Gurranabraher, Cork

Time: 7pm – 10pm

The MAAC Clinics are available for males and female aged 15 to 19 years and for coaches of any age. If you would like to attend please register with your NAME, LOCATION and whether you are a PLAYER or COACH to the email

To purchase tickets to the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, visit



Quotes from Host Conference & Participating Head Coaches

“The MAAC is privileged to work with Sports Changes Life and Aer Lingus in sponsoring these clinics,” notes MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor. “I want to thank the coaches for donating their time and energy to this effort. It is quite a group of coaches with Coach Fabbri coming off a Sweet 16 run in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, and Coach Milligan being awarded the MAAC and Met Basketball Coach of the Year. They are all committed to providing young women with opportunities to succeed in academics and athletics.”

Pat Coyle, Saint Peter’s University: “The partnership between the MAAC and Sport Changes Life Foundation is a win-win for all on both sides of the Atlantic. Having witnessed first-hand the impact the Sport Changes Life Foundation has had on young lives I am grateful for the opportunity to be associated with this meaningful foundation. As Coaches, we have the awesome responsibility to influence young people in such a meaningful way through sports.”

Tricia Fabbri, Quinnipiac University: “Rich Ensor and the MAAC office continues to the big time! Basketball is a global sport and I am equally excited and honored to represent Quinnipiac University and our conference along with joining Patty, Ali, and Lynn in teaching the game we all love in Ireland!”

Lynn Milligan, Rider University: “This is another example of how the MAAC ‘gets it’. To have the opportunity to travel with amazing coaches and share our love for women’s basketball together in this format is an incredible opportunity. We are looking forward to representing our universities and the MAAC.”

Ali Jaques, Siena College: “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring two great organizations together through basketball. Sports and athletics can always be a unifier and I am extremely grateful to be a part of this trip. The three coaches that I am lucky enough to travel with are knowledgeable, experienced, and highly successful. It’s just another example of how the MAAC thinks bigger and promotes growth through athletics.”


About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is in its 36th year of competition during the 2016-2017 academic year. Current conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter’s University, and Siena College. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference prides itself on continuing to grow and support both Men’s and Women’s Basketball. Along with Siena College, the MAAC will serve as the host for the 2018 & 2019 Women’s NCAA Basketball Regional as well as the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball First & Second Rounds, all held at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.

About Sport Changes Life: The primary goal of the Sport Changes Life Foundation is to provide an opportunity for raising the aspiration of young people on both sides of the Atlantic so that they can live out their dreams and guide them as sport changes their lives. We are a sports foundation built on inspiration, hope and victory. SCL works in disadvantaged communities to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of our international student-athletes, the Victory Scholars. In February 2016, SCL formally partnered with Rory McIlroy charity the Rory Foundation, as both foundations strive together to help change the lives of young people on the island of Ireland and beyond.

About Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. It operates 62 aircraft on routes across Europe and North America carrying 12 million guests per annum. Aer Lingus’ mission is to be the leading value carrier operating on the North Atlantic. It is the only airline operating between the United States and Ireland, which has a 4-Star rating (as awarded by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization). Aer Lingus is a member of International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage. To purchase tickets to the Belfast Classic, visit


For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic:

Visit us online:

… on Facebook:

… on Twitter @BelfastClassic

… on Instagram: @BelfastBasketballClassic

… email:


For more information on the Sport Changes Life Foundation:

Visit us online:

… on Facebook:

… on Twitter @Sportchanges @Victoryscholars

… on Instagram: @Sportchangeslife

… or call 001 44 2890 454 964


Sport Changes Life Foundation Media Contact:

Marc Mulholland,

001 44 2890 454 964



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