Drumcondra’s Curley to lead Irish basketball’s first ever Esports team

by Stephen Findlater

Drumcondra man Mick Curley will lead Basketball Ireland’s five-man team for the FIBA Esports Open, as Ireland prepare to compete at an international Esports tournament for the first time in history this weekend.

This will be the Glasnevin club man’s second time representing Ireland, having been a member of the Under-16 squad in 2016, winning national cups at underage and senior level.

Off the court, he is a full-time NBA 2K player with over 220,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. He will be playing as a power forward, with three-way scoring abilities. In May, he won the inaugural Basketball Ireland Esports Championship.

He will be joined in the team by fellow Dubliner Dale West, Trinity student Eoghan Daly, Kildare man Josh Stedman and Meath’s Jack Tobin.

Speaking ahead of the championships, captain Curley said: “We’re excited to represent Ireland in the FIBA Esports Open.

“We’re looking forward to testing ourselves against some of the best teams in the world. We’ve been practising a lot as a team and have been improving day-by-day, so hopefully we’ll be able to get a few wins under our belt.”

The FIBA Esports Open is a global Esports competition, played using multiplayer mode on NBA 2K21. Ireland will compete in European qualifiers this weekend and have been drawn in Group 2 alongside Cyprus, Austria and Turkey.

Their first match is against Cyprus at 4.30pm on Saturday, followed by a contest with Austria at 7.10pm. They face group favourites Turkey on Sunday at 12.15pm. The top two teams from the group will progress to the knockout stage, which will also take place on Sunday. Each of Ireland’s games will be streamed live by FIBA with full commentary and can be accessed here.

Basketball Ireland chairman, Paul McDevitt, added: “It is hugely exciting to see Ireland competing against the world’s best in the FIBA Esports Open. The team have been working hard to prepare for the tournament and we wish the team the best of luck.”

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