Caroline Forde is one of the greatest backcourt players Irish basketball has ever produced, starring both in the national league and for the national team.
Playing alongside her sisters Miriam and Annette (both RIP), she was the catalyst for their home club Blarney becoming a powerhouse on the national stage, winning the 1985 U19 National Cup (when she scored 30 points) and then at senior level, three National Leagues (1989-91), two National Cups (1987 and 1991) and two old Top Four National Championships (1989 and 1991). She also went on to be instrumental in the success of two other teams, winning a Super League, Cup and Top Four with Lee Strand Tralee and then helping Waterford Wildcats to a Super League title in 1996 before finishing her playing career back with Blarney.
As well as being a fantastic playmaker and team player, she was a phenomenal scorer, both from the outside and through driving to the basket, setting all kinds of individual records. The 41 points she scored in the 1991 Top Four final overtime win over Wildcats remains the highest score by a player in a premier senior women’s national final. She was twice Cup final MVP (scoring 29 points in Blarney’s 1987 triumph and 22 for Tralee in a two-point win over Naomh Mhuire in the 1993 decider).
She also excelled for Ireland, playing over 100 times for her country, and starring in such campaigns as the 1988 Olympic qualifiers in Malaysia when she averaged 16 points a game against the likes of Canada and Italy.