Kieran Donaghy returns to his roots next week as he helps develop the next generation of basketball stars in Kerry.
Long before he was known nationally for his Gaelic football prowess, Donaghy was making headlines as a basketball star and a valuable member of a Tralee Tigers side which was then a SuperLeague powerhouse.
And now he hopes to give something back to the sport and spark an interest in the game for children in the county.
The third annual Kieran Donaghy Be A Star Basketball Camp in association with Martin Donnelly Sports will be held at the John Mitchels GAA Complex in Tralee from October 27 to October 30 and will cater for 150 children.
Donaghy has assembled an unrivalled team for the four days with coaching figures such as Rus Bradburd, Mark Bernsen and Pat Price imparting their wisdom, along with ex-SuperLeague players such as John Teehan, Ricardo Leonard, Vinny Murphy and Donaghy himself.
Though those calling the shots are all serious and experienced operators, Donaghy stresses the central tenet of the camp is one word — fun.
“That is the key element. The only camps I can remember from my childhood were the fun ones. And that is what we aim to replicate,” he says.
“We will have a mix of everything each and every day and will be catering for kids of different ages and talents (the camp is open to boys and girls aged 6 to 15 of all levels of experience).
“We will cover all the basic skills and then have different games at the end of each day to put those newly-acquired skills into practice.
“The best thing about these camps is the kick you get at the end of the week when you see the improvement and development that the kids have made. They leave as much better players.
“It showcases what a great sport basketball is to play, especially during the winter. It is a clean, safe, fun environment and the good news for mums and dads is that there is no muck and dirt to clean off at the end of the day!”
Does he hope the camps like this can help reignite a basketball revolution in the town and help return it to the glory days, and nights, of the last decade?
“Tralee was always a stronghold of basketball and the success in the last decade was amazing. The hope now is that we can recapture some of that. The hope would be is that all the three clubs in the town — Imperials, St Brendan’s and Tigers — can come together and work together to achieve that. A town the size of Tralee needs to have a SuperLeague team. The potential, and the appetite for it, is definitely there,” he says.
For more information on the camps, email: email@example.com
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