Basketball Ireland announces conclusion of international season

The Elite Performance Committee (EPC) of Basketball Ireland has formally announced the closure of its international season for 2020.

Basketball Ireland operates 10 international programmes at Under 16, Under 17, Under 18, Under 20 and senior for men and women, with different squads being at various stages in their preparations for 2020 summer tournaments when the sport suspended its on-court activities in mid-March.

The squads remained positive during this challenging situation, with the coaches and players coming up with innovative ways, through engaging on virtual networks, to ensure individual training and player development continued.

Despite FIBA announcing the cancellation of all their European Championships for 2020 last month, there was still expectation that some international friendly competition could be arranged for Irish squads in the last quarter of 2020.

However, on the back of the government roadmap and having consulted with the head coaches and with the FIBA International Department, this now looks very unlikely and the decision has been taken to conclude all the 2020 programmes and begin planning for international activity in 2021.

Speaking about the announcement, chairperson of the EPC, Sinéad Gordon, commented: “This has been a very difficult decision for us to make. However, given the current pandemic the health and well-being of our players and all involved is paramount to us and we will now look forward to planning for next year.

“In terms of our sport, the EPC will work closely with Basketball Ireland on how we will get our national teams back on the court and training together again. Social distancing is something that is likely to stay with us and how we incorporate this into team sports is a challenge for everyone.”

In appreciation for all their efforts in being selected for Ireland and possibly competing in European Championships, the EPC will be presenting international jerseys to all squad members during the coming weeks and coaching staff will also receive a special presentation.

The EPC will be finalising the logistical and financial elements of closing the season shortly, working closely with the head coaches to ensure a smooth transitioning to 2021 preparations where possible.

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