Letterkenny twins Tadhg and Cian Hickey competed in the Annual World Basketball Tournament in Tourcoing (France) over the Easter weekend as members of the United Kingdom Under-23 Select Men’s Basketball Squad.
The UK team performed very well in the group stages with notable victories over Canada and Belgium, but falling short against a dominant Serbian side. However their efforts secured a semi-final against tournament favourites USA.
The much anticipated semi-final proved to be, in the words of tournament president Ms Sophie Shali ‘A fantastic exhibition and undoubtedly the match of the tournament’, and attracted a huge crowd.
Despite trailing for most of the game, the UK team mounted a rally, spurred on by the Hickey twins who combined for 18 points in the fourth quarter alone. Unfortunately it was not enough, and although their closest contest, the USA won the game 62-60. ‘The atmosphere and intensity of play during the semi-final was amazing! We demonstrated how far we had progressed as a team in a short space of time’ – Cian Hickey.
In the third-fourth play-off, the UK were beaten again by Serbia, who showed the benefits of longer tournament preparation.
“The level of competition was very high and to know that we can perform at this level is very encouraging. We had a young team this year, and look forward to competing for a place in the final next year,” Tadhg Hickey said.
The Hickey twins finished the tournament as the UK’s top performers, leading the team in several categories including points, assists, and steals.
“To have the opportunity to perform against the best emerging talent in the World is something we are both very grateful for. Our aim is to keep performing at the highest possible level, undoubtedly we can learn and build from such a positive experience’ – Cian Hickey.
The Donegal men would like to thank both Manchester University Sport and the Manchester Magic Basketball Club for their support in their international campaign.
Posted: 7:10 pm April 27, 2017