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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

US coach Strickland takes charge of Ireland senior men's basketball team

The former Neptunes player/coach has been appointed on a two-year contract.

Pete Strickland.
Pete Strickland.
Image: Twitter/Basketball Ireland

BASKETBALL IRELAND HAVE announced Pete Strickland as the new head coach of the Irish senior men’s team.

Strickland, who hails from Maryland in the US, takes over from Colin O’Reilly and will hold the position for the next two seasons, which takes in the FIBA Small Nations European Championships in 2018.

A vastly-experienced coach, he spent time in Cork with Neptunes during his playing days in the early 1980s and became the club’s player/coach at the age of 23.

He has also had spells across the States at various universities and most recently was a Development Consultant with De Matha High School and Sport Changes Lives.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Strickland, in a statement released by Basketball Ireland this morning. “It feels great to be appointed. My heart was in it straight away, having played in Ireland in the 1980s with Neptune and I’ve been back and forth since. I love Irish basketball and have worked with many coaches and players here.

“From nearly my first day in Ireland in the 1980s, I always wanted to coach the national team. I was so jealous of Bill Dooley when he had the opportunity to do it and knew it was something I wanted to do. Cork and Ireland was a hot bed for basketball at the time and if we can get that kind of a fire going again, that will be exciting.

Wearing the green of Ireland will be a proud endeavour, and the senior men’s and women’s teams are two teams all underage players aspire to be on. They are the shining lights of Irish basketball and I can’t wait to see these players play smart and hard like Irish basketballers have always done.

“The work itself will be challenging, and I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to be on the court, evaluating different players, bringing them in for training sessions, and of course, working with other coaches in Ireland. I’m excited about picking a team, it’s always a daunting task but it’s going to be fun too, and there will be a lot of work between now and then. The ultimate moment will be being on the court with the final team and being ready to go and play some teams.”

Basketball Ireland Secretary General and Chair of the Men’s National Competitions Committee (MNCC) Brendan O’Byrne added: “We are delighted to appoint Pete who is extremely well-known in Irish basketball circles. Pete brings a lot of experience to the role and will take Irish international basketball to a new level. We will support him in any way we can.”

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Ben Blake

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