International

International
Nov 21 2021

Hosford named Ireland captain, as Keenan selects final squad for FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers

Kyle Hosford says it’s a “great honour” to be named the new captain of the Irish senior men’s team, as head coach Mark Keenan selected his final 12-man squad for the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers Round 1, which start on Thursday. The UCC Demons player replaces Jason Killeen, who retired from international basketball following their victory in the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries last August.

Hosford will lead Ireland for FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers Round 1, which begin on Thursday against Cyprus in Nicosia, followed by a home game against Austria on Sunday at the National Basketball Arena. 

Ireland head coach Mark Keenan said: “This is a natural progression for Kyle, after being vice-captain during our summer campaign. Kyle’s experience and leadership make him a great choice as team captain. John Carroll will be our new team vice-captain. John also showed great leadership and spirit during our summer campaign and he always leads by example on court, with his effort and work rate. We also have many other strong leaders within the team that will fully get behind the two guys and shoulder the responsibilities also.”

Kyle Hosford, Ireland senior men's captain

Hosford added: “Being named captain is obviously a great honour, we had great success in August and a great team spirit. This has been the most excited the team has been in a long while. This is the opportunity the whole panel has been waiting for. So now it’s finally here, we will come into camp with plenty of energy and focus. We know what the bigger picture for basketball in Ireland is and we want to take a huge step towards this goal.”

Keenan has made four changes to his final 12, compared to last summer’s squad at the successful FIBA European Championship for Small Countries. Taiwo Badmus (U.M.F Tindastoll Sauoarkrokur), Brian Fitzpatrick (Odessa BC), James Gormley (Baloncestro Aguimes) and Stephen James (Griffith College Templeogue) are all drafted in. Gormley and James trained with the extended squad last summer, while Badmus and Fitzpatrick have both been involved with previous international set-up’s.

They replace CJ Fulton, Will Hanley, Neil Randolph and Jason Killeen. US-based CJ Fulton and Will Hanley were unavailable, while Randolph missed out as he returns from injury and Killeen has retired internationally.

 Taiwo Badmus in action for Ireland at the 2018 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries

Speaking about his selection, Keenan stated: “We are delighted to name our final team of 12 players for these upcoming two FIBA EuroBasket games against Cyprus in Cyprus and then back in Dublin to face Austria. With some players from our successful summer campaign being unavailable right now we are delighted with the four new players that have come into the final team of 12. There were obviously some nerves going into the final weekend of fixtures before the international window, you’re hoping that all players come through unscathed. 

“We are very excited to be competing in FIBA EuroBasket. It was the natural next step for this team after our success in the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries. We are determined to build on that success and we will take great confidence into these upcoming games, off the back of our performance levels during this summer. Cyprus and Austria will be formidable challenges, but ones we are really looking forward to, as we take this next step up in level to compete against Europe’s top sides.”

The Ireland squad fly to Cyprus on Monday and hold their first practice sessions in Nicosia on Tuesday.

Ireland will also play Switzerland in Group A of qualifying. The group winners and the best ranked second-placed team from three qualifying groups will progress to the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers Second Round.

Tickets for Ireland versus Austria at the National Basketball Arena can be purchased here. The game will also be live on TG4 from 1650. 

Ireland’s 12-man senior squad:

Taiwo Badmus (U.M.F Tindastoll Sauoarkrokur), Jordan Blount (Thor AK), John Carroll (Bueno Albacete Basket), Brian Fitzpatrick (Odessa BC), Sean Flood (Omnia Nicosia), Kyle Hosford (UCC Demons), James Gormley (Baloncestro Aguimes), Stephen James (Griffith College Templeogue), Lorcan Murphy (Griffith College Templeogue) Adrian O’Sullivan (Tradehouse Central Ballincollig), Eoin Quigley (Garvey’s Tralee Warriors), Ciaran Roe (Killester).

Reserves: Dylan Corkery (Tradehouse Central Ballincollig), Paul Dick (Belfast Star), Cian O’Sullivan (Unión Baloncesto Archena), Will Hanley (Unattached), Cian Heaphy (C&S Neptune), Conor Quinn (Belfast Star), Neil Randolph (Griffith College Templeogue).

In-depth Ireland senior men’s squad:

First Name

Surname

D.O.B.

Age

Height

Club

Position

Taiwo

Badmus

03-07-1993

 

28

2.00m

 

U.M.F Tindastoll Sauoarkrokur

Small Forward

 

Jordan

Blount

05-01-1997

 

24

2.03m

Thor AK

Small Forward/Power Forward

John

Carroll

16-03-1995

 

26

2.03m

Bueno Albacete Basket

Power Forward

Brian

Fitzpatrick

06-11-1989

 

32

2.03m

Odessa BC

Forward

Sean

Flood

10-09-1996

 

25

1.86m

Omnia Nicosia

Point Guard

Kyle

Hosford

27-06-1989

 

32

1.82m

UCC Demons

Point Guard

James

Gormley

31-08-1999

 

22

2.13m

Baloncestro Aguimes

Centre

Stephen

James

16-03-1992

 

29

1.89m

Griffith College Templeogue

Small Forward

Lorcan

Murphy

08-12-1994

 

26

1.87m

Griffith College Templeogue

Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Adrian

O’Sullivan

21-07-1993

 

28

 

1.87m

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig

Shooting Guard

Eoin

Quigley

18-09-1991

 

30

1.97m

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors

Forward

Ciaran

Roe

21-06-1993

 

28

1.80m

Killester

Point Guard

FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers First Round – Group A fixtures:

25th November 2021

Cyprus v Ireland 1700 Tassos Papadopoulous Eleftheria SC, Nicosia. Watch here.

28th November 2021

Ireland v Austria, 1700, National Basketball Arena, Dublin. LIVE ON TG4

24th February 2022

Switzerland v Ireland, Time TBC, Venue TBC.

27th February 2022

Ireland v Cyprus, Time TBC, National Basketball Arena, Dublin.

30th June 2022

Austria v Ireland, Time TBC, Venue TBC.

3rd July 2022

Ireland v Switzerland, Time TBC, National Basketball Arena, Dublin.