BEYOND the confines of women’s or schools basketball, he may not have instant recognition, but there can’t be many coaches who have made a greater contribution to the sport over the last three decades than Jimmy Diggins of Tralee.
Last night he received Irish basketball’s prestigious Tom Collins award as the sport honoured the good and the great in the sport for 2010.
Diggins has spent his adult life coaching basketball in Tralee, driving the dominance Lee Strand enjoyed in the women’s game back in the 80s along with his perennial tutelage of schools talent.
Some of the other award winners included Stuart Robbins as Men’s SuperLeague Player of the Year. Stuart sadly passed away this year but will always be remembered after an unforgettable season for UL Eagles this season. Lindsey Peat claimed the Women’s SuperLeague Player of the Year award after her part in DCU Mercy’s run to their first national cup title.
DCU Mercy Head Coach Mark Ingle claimed the Women’s SuperLeague Coach of the Year accolade, while DCU Saints Head Coach Vinny O’Keefe earned the tag of Men’s SuperLeague Coach of the Year.
Young Referee – Karen O’Neill (Dublin); Referee – David Caballé (Cork); Men’s Underage Schools Coach – Marie O’Toole (Pres, Bray); Women’s School Coach – Joe Shields (Oranmore); Male Schools Player – Lorcan Murphy (Pres, Bray); Female Schools Player – Carol McCarthy (Oranmore); Boys School – Pres, Bray; Girls School – Calasanctius College, Oranmore; Young International Female – Rheanne O’Shea (St. Paul’s, Kerry); Young International Male – Roy Downey (Neptune, Cork); Senior Men’s International – Conor Grace (Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden, Netherlands); Senior Women’s International – Susan Moran (St. Joseph’s University, USA); Male Collegiate – Cian Nihill (NUI Galway); Female Collegiate - Niamh Dwyer (UCC); Male Senior – Declan Wall (St. Mary’s, Castleisland); Female Senior – Tammy McKenna (Oblate Dynamos, Dublin); Men’s Senior Coach – Brian Clernon (St. Mary’s, Castleisland); Women’s Senior Coach – Cormac O’Donoghue (St. Paul’s, Killarney); Female U20 Player – Valerie O Driscoll (Glanmire, Cork); Male U20 Player – Liam Conroy (Maree, Galway); Women’s SuperLeague Coach – Mark Ingle (DCU Mercy, Dublin); Men’s SuperLeague Coach – Vincent O’Keeffe (DCU Saints, Dublin); Women’s SuperLeague Player – Lindsay Peat (DCU Mercy, Dublin); Men’s SuperLeague Player – Stuart Robbins (UL Eagles, Limerick); Volunteer – Paul Meany; Wheelchair Player – Pat O’Neill (Kilkenny); Tom Collins Award - Jimmy Diggins (Mercy Mounthawk, Kerry); Presidents Award – Margaret Miley (Templeogue); Team – Killester Men’s SuperLeague; Club – UCD/Marian
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