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 Ireland manager Grace O'Sullivan, with squad members Claire Rockall, Grainne Dwyer and Danielle O'Leary and Ireland head coach Mark Scannell. Picture: David Keane.
Ireland manager Grace O'Sullivan, with squad members Claire Rockall, Grainne Dwyer and Danielle O'Leary and Ireland head coach Mark Scannell. Picture: David Keane.
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Cork hosting the European Championships will offer a golden opportunity for Irish basketball

IRISH women’s coach Mark Scannell said hosting the European Championships in Cork next summer will give his side a great chance to compete for gold.

The Leesider said he was thrilled to learn the Mardyke won the bid to stage the 2018 FIBA Women’s European Championship for Small Countries.

“It’s great news the Mardyke Arena has been chosen to host the European Championships next summer,” said Scannell, who has enjoyed huge success on the domestic front with Glanmire.

“I am confident Cork will support the tournament and for the team, staff and I, that will be a huge incentive to compete strongly for the gold medal.”

Irish captain and Glanmire player Gráinne Dwyer is delighted that women’s basketball will be showcased in Cork. “The Mardyke Arena is a magnificent facility and hopefully we than give our fans plenty to cheer about against some of the elite teams,” she said.

The tournament will run from June 26 to July 1 next year.

Speaking at the launch, secretary general of Basketball Ireland, Bernard O’Byrne, was elated that FIBA gave the thumbs up after inspecting the college facility.

“This is fantastic news for the Irish basketball community and we look forward to working with Patsy Ryan and everyone at the Mardyke Arena UCC to host another great tournament,” said Bernard O’Byrne.

Professor Patrick O’Shea, president of UCC was delighted and honoured with the awarding of the tournament.

“I congratulate the Mardyke Arena UCC and Basketball Ireland in securing the 2018 FIBA Women’s European Championship for Small Countries for UCC and Cork next summer,” said Professor O’Shea.

“We look forward to the excitement that this event will generate for UCC, Cork, Munster and Ireland.”

Patsy Ryan, the general manager of the Mardyke Arena, said it was confirmation of the quality of the UCC facility.

“It is a great endorsement of the world-class facilities at the Mardyke Arena and we look forward to working with FIBA and Basketball Ireland over the coming months,” said Patsy Ryan.

 Claire Rockall, in action for Ambassador UCC Glanmire, against Courtyard Liffey Celtics, at the Mardyke Arena. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Claire Rockall, in action for Ambassador UCC Glanmire, against Courtyard Liffey Celtics, at the Mardyke Arena. Picture: Jim Coughlan.