Basketball Ireland has today announced that four people will be inducted into the Basketball Ireland Hall of Fame at a special ceremony later this year.
Currently there are 12 B.I. Hall of Fame members – Fr. Joe Horan, Harry Boland, Tom Collins, Liam McGinn, Danny O’Connor, Paul Meany, Siobhan Caffrey, Danny Fulton, Liam McHale, Susan Moran, Paudie O’Connor and Kelvin Troy.
Nominations were made by the public, with an independent nominations committee announcing the four final recipients today who are: Michelle Aspell, Caroline Forde, Noel Keating and Tom Wilkinson.
“We are delighted to announce that four more people will be inducted into the Basketball Ireland Hall of Fame this year,” said CEO of Basketball Ireland, Bernard O’Byrne. “2020 is a significant year in the history of Irish basketball, as it marks the 75th anniversary of the organisation and we are really looking forward to this induction ceremony as being a key part of the anniversary celebrations. All the recipients are delighted to be honoured and it should be a memorable occasion for all involved.”
Chairman of the Board of Basketball Ireland, Paul McDevitt, and President of Basketball Ireland, Theresa Walsh also extended their congratulations to the four recipients and their families.
Noel Keating is one of the most influential administrators in the history of Irish basketball, having the distinction of being the governing body’s first full-time Chief Executive and a driving force behind the building of the National Basketball Arena and the establishment of the National Cup.
A native of Carlow, Keating first came onto the national executive through his involvement in mini-basketball and primary schools basketball, and in 1979 served as national Press Relations Officer. However, after his leadership in resolving the two-American Killarney issue at the end of that year, he was promptly elected to president (1980-82) before then being appointed as the association’s first-ever CEO, a job he would occupy from 1983 to 1996. During those years, he would help propel and oversee the huge growth and modernisation of the sport in this country. It was Keating, though still only national PRO, who convened a meeting in November 1979 to discuss the concept of a national arena, something which would he would eventually help and see get over the line more than 13 years later, in January 1993. He was also pivotal in identifying the appeal of a knock-out-competition and securing it sponsorship and live television coverage, and thus we’ve had a National Cup since 1984, and every subsequent finals televised live nationally.
Although Keating would step away from the workings of Basketball Ireland upon stepping down as CEO in 1996, he would still remain a passionate advocate for the promotion of the sport in primary schools, only retiring last year as chairperson of the Dublin primary schools board.