THE Address UCC Glanmire team and the UCC Demons basketball squads were honoured for their superb seasons at the annual Awards and Hall of Fame ceremony at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire recently.
Mark Scannell's team, The Address UCC Glanmire won the MissQuote.ie Super League, InsureMyHouse.ie Paudie O’Connor Cup and MissQuote.ie Champions Trophy to make a clean sweep of all titles.
As well as having the best team and coach, Glanmire's Claire Melia was named ‘MissQuote.ie Super League Player of the Year.’ Mark Scannell was awarded ‘MissQuote.ie Super League Coach of the Year’.
Scannell continues to be the standout coach in the league. Melia is the best player in the league by a mile.
She can do it all. Where she plays next season is the big question. If she is not with Glanmire, they will struggle to compete for honours. Whatever team she joins suddenly becomes a contender.
C&S Neptune’s Cian Heaphy rounded a fine season, in which he made his senior international debut, by claiming the ‘InsureMyVan.ie Super League Young Player of the Year.’
Heaphy has come on in leaps and bound this year.
His athleticism is a feature of his game and some of his dunks this year were incredible, but it's his new-found maturity on the court that saw international manager Mark Keenan give him his first senior international caps this season.
If he can stay fit and healthy, Heaphy is an incredible player and a great asset to coach Colin O'Reilly.
"I am delighted to collect this award," Heaphy said.
"I am looking forward to next season. I will use the off-season to rest and recover and then come back stronger and hopefully we can go one better than we did this year. Losing two finals was hard to take, but we know with a few small adjustments and hard work we can win the league next year.
"That has to be our aim. This club has gone too long without a league title and it is up to us to end that barren run next year."
UCC Demons, who were promoted to the InsureMyVan.ie Super League and won the InsureMyHouse.ie Presidents’ National Cup, got their hands on three awards.
Daniel O’Mahony was named ‘InsureMyVan.ie Division 1 Coach of the Year, while Tobias Christiansen was chosen as ‘InsureMyVan.ie Division 1 Player of the Year’ and Tala Fam Thiam as the ‘InsureMyVan.ie Division 1 Player of the Year’.
For Demons now the challenge is now to be ready for the new SuperLeague season.
They will need to find four or five new players to strengthen their squad and find a very good American if they want to content with Tralee, Neptune and Ballincollig for the title next year.
It was also a great year for Ava Walshe, who won the Female U16 Schools Player of the Year with her school Regina Mundi College, Cork.
The late Billy Coffey was presented with a 2021 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
But for now all clubs and players can look back on a great year for Cork basketball and enjoy their well-earned break during the off season.
Michelle Aspell was a super player in her day for Waterford and UL. She broke many Glanmire hearts over the years. She was also inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Caroline Forde on Saturday.
Speaking of her induction to the Hall of Fame, Aspell said: “To be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame is such an honour. I am grateful to be recognised as a contributor to the sport that has given me so much.
"I am also grateful to my family and all the friends I have made along the way who have supported, helped and shared my basketball journey with me.
"Without those people, I wouldn't be where I am today in the sport that I love.”
Aspell, is a three-time Women’s Super League player of Year (2004, 2005 and 2008), and her playing career saw her claim six Super League titles and five National Cup’s while representing Waterford Wildcats and UL.
Internationally she was a key player for Ireland, including a game high 18 points in a FIBA Women’s EuroBasket qualifier win over Holland in 2009.
Off the court she helped set up Limerick Celtics alongside Tony Hehir.