Ballinteer’s first men’s basketball team are well on the road towards entering league competition, with the newly-formed senior side having completed their first friendly game in the past month.
The side – who will be known as the Ballinteer Bulls – currently operate only their freshly-created senior men’s team, but have big ambitions for the future of the side.
They will be competing in friendlies against a mix of Dublin league sides until October when they hope to join the league at a level yet to be determined.
The team find their roots in the early lives of the two founding organisers, Darren Devereux and Cathal Mulvaney. Mulvaney will be acting as Director of Basketball and Senior Men’s coach, and Devereux in a more strategic management role.
Both are passionate about basketball and can trace their love of the game back to trips out of Ballinteer as youngsters in order to compete. Devereux, for example, played with UCD Marian’s age-group sides. He learnt the value of personal development through sport, and hopes to bring that back to Ballinteer.
“Our mission is to ‘improve lives through basketball’,” Devereux told the Dublin Gazette. “We’re going to work hard to make sure money isn’t a barrier to playing basketball, and endeavour to give people skills that will help them in other areas of their life.”
The goals of the club in the long-term incorporate everything from securing sporting scholarships for players while studying at universities, to applying the principles of sports training to life in general. Devereux himself links his educational attainments to the pride of his basketball experience.
“When you have limited resources, it can be very difficult to get a sense of achievement,” Devereux said.
“I started studying at night, something I believed I could do due to sport,” the founder, who is now working on a PhD, explains. “Hard work, commitment and dedication are really core values for the club, as they are for me.
“I hope in the long-term we can help others to develop self-belief by experiencing various forms of success through basketball. We’ve been given a phenomenal amount of support locally, through people like Seán McLoughlin, a local election candidate, Shane McArdle in DLR Sports Partnership, and Neil Delaney, who is sponsoring the team’s kit through his company Sorcon Plant and Haulage.”
The team will be based in Wesley College, and as well as the senior men’s team, hope to have an active youth section covering various age groups in place for the 2020/ 2021 season. A ladies’ team is also on the agenda, while the senior team has grown to a panel of 15 since their first meeting in October 2018.
Ballinteer expect its first senior basketball contest to take place in roughly six months time.