O’Reilly nets pro deal with Essen

UCC DEMONS star Colin O’Reilly, the NIVEA for Men SuperLeague’s leading Irish scorer last season, has signed a professional basketball contract with ETP SW Essen in Germany.

Last season, the 6’6” 21-year-old came off the bench to set the boards alight with some exciting runs after joining UCC Demons from Gleneagle Lakers.

A product of the Neptune underage programme, he spent some time on scholarship in the US before joining Gleneagle Lakers.

His arrival at The Mardyke Arena added an extra dimension to Pat Price’s squad and he ended another memorable season for Demons with a SuperLeague average of 19.53 points per game.

He is excited about his move to the city of Essen, which could be a stepping stone to even greater things.

“It is a great opportunity for me to further my basketball skills and experience European culture at the same time,” he said.

“It was the right time to move on after a successful season with UCC Demons and, since it’s been my ambition to play pro basketball, I felt it necessary to take this opportunity and give it my best shot.

“Hopefully this experience will help me achieve my other goal and that is to make the Irish senior men’s national team in the near future.”

He took a major step towards fulfilling that ambition when he was named on the Irish squad along with his brother Niall.

Seven SuperLeague players have been named on the squad: the O’Reilly brothers, Niall and Colin, Emmett Donnelly and Shane Callaghan from St Vincent’s, Isaac Westbrooks and Kieran O’Brien from DART Killester and Eoin O’Brien of Gleneagle Lakers.

Robert Lynch from Limerick Lions and Pete Madsen of Reading have opted out on account of work commitments.

The 18-strong squad will go into a training camp on Monday and will prepare until the end of August when the final 12 will be announced for the European championship campaign that gets underway in September.

Phoenix Sun’s Pat Burke makes a welcome return but won’t join the squad until next month and Cal Bowlder also returns after taking time out to set up a new property business in Virginia.

Jay Larranaga won’t be returning due to family commitments in Italy, while Jim Moran will also be missing from this year’s line-up.

Dan Callahan, Marty Conlon — who will assist in coaching — Mike Breen, Chris Bracey, Conor Grace and Justin Naughton all return.

Baker Dunleavy will arrive in from Villanova University on Sunday to join the squad, while New Yorker Donnie McGrath, Canadian Liam Farrell and Mike Williams from Connecticut are the other new arrivals.

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