Basketball Ireland Super League

Killorglin 82 Belfast Star 76

ADRIAN Fulton’s Belfast Star side head into the international break this weekend on the back of a close defeat last weekend in Killorglin. 

Shortly afterwards, the coach then headed off to the sunny climes of Cyprus on Monday in his role as Assistant to the Ireland team. He will jet back again to the National Arena in Tallaght for the visit of Austria on Sunday.

With Switzerland also in the group, the international series is part of the FIBA EuroBasket pre-qualifying competition. The in-form Conor Quinn is one of those on standby for a call-up to the squad should injuries occur.

Fulton will be hoping the Irish side can build on their growing reputation and their recent victory in the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries last August.

Saturday’s result in Kerry was disappointing for the Star coach, though, especially as his side were still well in the game going down the stretch until a late surge by the Kerrymen got the home side over the line. 

American Austin Beech and Englishmen Jonny Foulds and Max Cooper put in good performances, but Fulton again gave a special mention to Conor Quinn who this season is proving to be the touchstone for the team’s fighting spirit in what is developing into a very competitive Super League competition.

“Conor’s been terrific so far this season,” said Fulton.

“He has scored consistently well but also gives us the great leadership and experience that we’ve needed in the absence of players like Liam Pettigrew, Paul Dick, and Conor’s own brother Aidan,” said Fulton.

He also singled out Irish youth international Darragh Ferguson who scored eight points from the bench and is growing in confidence as the season progresses.

As if coaching in Kerry, Cyprus and Dublin wasn’t enough for the popular Fulton, he also had to keep an eye out across the Atlantic too as his son CJ was in action last week against none other than the mighty Duke University in the fabled Cameron Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

CJ and his Lafayette team failed to come away with a win on the day, however, but the talented point guard has been garnering lots of praise with a series of very consistent performances now under his belt.

Former Belfast Star stalwart Colin Bethel said the whole experience for CJ is unbelievable: “It’s really fantastic to see one of our own reach such dizzying heights,” he said.