Saturday is a huge day for North West basketball, when for the first time, LYIT-Donegal will field a team in the Irish National Basketball League. This significant step is part of a long term plan to develop basketball in the region and in association with Basketball Ireland and the NW Basketball Clubs and Schools the LYIT–Donegal has entered a team into the Irish National Basketball League in order to help bring basketball in the North West to a higher level.
In the opening game of the 2016/17 season LYIT-Donegal will face a tough task as they come up against northern rivals and one of the pre-season favourites to win the League, the Ulster University Elks. Elks have a talented squad filled with Irish internationals, Lithuanian and American players.
The LYIT-Donegal team is comprised from students and elite players from the local clubs of Letterkenny, Donegal, Derry and Tyrone. The team is also bolstered by two American Victory Scholars who are studying at LYIT as part of the Sport Changes Life programme. T-John Casiello and Jack Mackey will be an integral part of the team this year and will also be coaching in clubs and schools in the region.
Head Coach of LYIT-Donegal Niall McDermott knows that this season will be no easy task “For a lot of our guys it will be the first time they have ever experience basketball at this level. The game is faster and more physical and I expect it will take some time to settle in and for the guys to adjust. We have a young talented team and I know we will improve as the season goes on and hopefully we will pick up a few wins early to help boost confidence.”
LYIT’s home venue is An Danlann on LYIT’s campus. Refreshments will be available before during and after the game in the An Danlann cafe.
Admission is €5 for adults with €3 for children and a special family rate of €10. Doors open from 3.30pm with a tip off time of 4pm. It is expected to be an exciting and high scoring game and the advice is to get there early if you want a seat!