Oct 13 2021

Basketball Ireland Academies explained

About the Basketball Ireland Academies

“More players, better players, playing for longer”.

The Basketball Ireland Regional and Provincial Academy structure is the foundation of a pathway for the development of players and coaches with an ambition and potential to play at the highest levels of our sport. It opens a development and performance pathway for more players across the country in a time when there are more National League opportunities presenting themselves country wide as well as being the pathway to the international teams.

For all information on upcoming talent identification sessions and to register, click here.

What are the objectives of the Basketball Ireland Academies?

· To identify, recruit and retain players and coaches that demonstrate the talent and potential for future success in their basketball careers and to play into adulthood.

· Early Intervention to better prepare players for participation and success in the U16 International programmes. The Basketball Ireland Provincial Academies are the primary route for all players that wish to be considered for the U16 National Teams along with providing the skills required to play basketball at the highest level

· A role of the academies is to widen the net for potential high-level players with the attributes to play at the highest level and to expose more players to high level coaching and playing.

· To give opportunities to players who are still developing or who are new to the sport but show many of the attributes required to develop into a high level basketball player.

· Investment in the long – term development of all players that show potential and commitment, propelling them towards success in local, regional, national and international competition.

What age groups are affected?

The U14 Regional Academies are for players born in 2008 and 2009.

The U15 Provincial Academies are for players born in 2007.

There are more talented athletes playing basketball than ever before and it is envisaged that this system – over the next three to five years - will produce a much larger group of high-performance players and increase competition and standard dramatically across the country.

Ireland has already shown that we can compete at all levels, but strength in depth has been an issue. Introducing international-standard concepts and skills to a wider group, at an earlier age, over a longer period will yield a stronger pool of players over time.

Basketball Ireland Academy Player Pathway

The U14 Academy is open to any player of any nationality. Skill development is the key objective for this age group and getting players ready for the advanced learning required for International Basketball.

The U15 Academy is the route players that live and play in Ireland must take to be selected for the U16 Irish National team. Players without an Irish passport can join the Academy with the approval of the Elite Performance Committee (EPC) but requires parents to start the process of naturalisation in order to make them eligible to play for Ireland under FIBA rules. For any questions on eligibility please contact the International Liaison officer Matthew Hall by email . There will be no open Talent ID sessions for the U16 National Squad in 2022.

Under 16 International Teams are selected during the new summer program of the academy. This program will include a selection of players from the Academy system that will play against academies from other countries.

This season for the first time, the U15 Academy will have an inter provincial tournament with academies playing against each other in May as part of the summer program selections. The U16 NT squad to play in the summer of 2023 will be selected at the end of the 2022 summer academy program.

The extended NT squad will be selected from the U15 Academy class except for players living and playing outside of Ireland who may be brought into the squad on trial and players that are from the U14 age group. Exceptional circumstances will always be considered and judged by the EPC on a case-by-case basis.

U14 Regional Academies

The 7 Under 14 academies are divided regionally as below:

South - Cork, South Tipperary, Waterford

North - Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Meath, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan

East - Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Wexford

South West - Kerry, Limerick

North West - Donegal, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim

Midland - Laois, Offaly, Westmeath, Roscommon, Longford, Kilkenny, Carlow, North Tipperary

West - Clare & Galway

When will the U14 Regional Academies Start?

Players will be selected from Talent Identification Sessions during October Mid Term into the U14 Regional Academies in that will start on the weekend of November 6th/7th. The announcement of the players that have been selected for each region will appear on the Basketball Ireland website academy pages on Wednesday November 3rd at 5pm. All training dates and venues for the season will appear on the academy section of the website in the coming weeks.

Under 14 Regional Academy Calendar

Please note that only one day per weekend will be used for each region.

November 6th / 7th - Regional Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

December 4th / 5th - Regional Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

January 2nd / 3rd - Regional Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

March 25th / 26th - (Boys Academy only) Regional Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

Easter Holidays, 2nd Week - Regional Academy Camp (2 days/1 night camp)

April 23rd / 24th (Girls Academy only) - Regional Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

May 21st / 22nd - Regional Get Together (Games / Coaching / Workshops for all regions)

Under 15 Provincial Academies

The U15 Provincial Academies will operate from October to May during the 2021/22 season for the initial phase for selected players. During this time, selected players will participate in provincial sessions for 36 hours, attend inter provincial day camps, and attend a three – day national camp in April.

The Under 15 Academies are aimed at boys and girls born in 2007 and player selection to the Provincial Academies will occur as follows.

The provincial squads will be published on the Basketball Ireland website on Wednesday 3rd of November at 5.30pm. The first Provincial Academy session will take place during the weekend of November 6th and 7th.

When will the U15 Provincial Academies open?

Players will be selected from Talent Identification Sessions into the U15 Academies in October 2021 and via club basketball matches if required.

Under 15 Provincial Academy Calendar:

Date U15 Provincial Academy Notes

November 6th / 7th - Provincial Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

December 4th / 5th - Provincial Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

January 2nd / 3rd - Provincial Academy Session (3 Hour Sessions on either day)

February 5th / 6th - Provincial Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

March 5th / 6th - Provincial Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

March 26th / 27th (Boys Only) - Provincial Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

Easter Holidays, 2nd Week - Provincial Academy Camp (3 days/2 nights camp)

April 23rd / 24th (Girls only) - Provincial Academy Session (3 Hour Session on either day)

May 7th / 8th - Provincial Academy Sessions (4 hour session, both days)

May 14th / 15th - Inter Provincial Tournament (Both days)

Will my son/daughter have time to participate in the Academy with his/her local league commitments?

All Academy session are scheduled to take place on the dates ring-fenced for National Team and Academy training on the Master Basketball Ireland calendar. As a result of arrangements agreed at an executive committee level these dates have been left free of local league fixtures to accommodate players who wish to attend Academy sessions or play for the National Team. This cooperation is an essential aspect of the partnership needed for success. It is a key example of how the basketball community has collaborated to place the best interests of the player at the forefront of our decision making. It is important that if our child is selected to the academy that you inform your club coach so they can check the Basketball Ireland calendar available on the website and avoid any clashes.

Will my son/daughter have training on every day highlighted in the calendar?

Yes, each Academy will have the same schedule as laid out on the Master Basketball Ireland Calendar. Every Academy will deliver the same number of hours. That schedule will be provided by the Head Coach of the Region/Province. Each Academy has an individual email address where the Head Coach can be reached. Those details can be found on the Basketball Ireland website.

What is the cost associated with being selected for the Basketball Ireland Academies?

The cost for the Academy season including local sessions, Academy kit and a residential camp which includes food and accommodation is €340 for the U14 Academy and €375 for the U15 Academy. For the U15 academy the fee covers to the end of the interprovincial tournament. The summer program is considered a separate program for which details will be released during the season. This fee will be paid in 2 instalments at the start and middle of the season via basketball Irelands online system and details will appear on the website along with selection lists from Wednesday November 3rd.

What will be involved in the residential camp in Gormanston?

The camp will take place in Gormanston College in Co Meath. The U15 Provincial camp will begin on the afternoon of the 13th of April 2020 and end on the afternoon of the 15th April. The U14 Regional camp will begin on the afternoon of the 16th of April 2020 and end of the afternoon of the 17th April. During camp. campers will be exposed to high level coaching from Academy coaches from all over the country, as well as the National Academy Head Coaches Martin mcGettrick and Colin O’Reilly. All accommodation and meals are included in the Academy fee.

Players will be exposed to:

· High level concepts and tactics consolidating and advancing the knowledge they have gained in their local Academies throughout the season.

· An opportunity to play alongside and against their peers from across the country.

· Exposure to Sports scientists/practitioners who will provide key information on how to be a top-level athlete.

· The opportunity to be observed and considered by the U16 National team coaches Andy Gill and Pat Price.

· The cost of the camp is included in the fees quoted above.