Old Leighlin’s Jack Kehoe has been named as part of Paul Keller’s 17-strong Ireland Under 18 men’s squad for the upcoming Four Nations tournament in Cardiff.
The midweek competition in April falls as part of Ireland’s preparations for the FIBA Under 18 European Championships later this year. Kehoe, also a structure link player for SETU Carlow is regarded as one of the best players in the country at his age group and was also included in last year’s Europeans squad selection.
Two players are in line for their first international appearances – Stanley Njekwe (Manchester Giants) and Victor Okajie (BC Taurus). Five players who played in last year’s FIBA U18 European Championship return, including Aivaras Uosis who has been named captain and Jack Kehoe.
The other players are Tony Ezeonu (J. Addison Academy), Joseph Badejo (Dundalk Ravens) and Daniel Carberry (Templeogue).
Four players who played at the FIBA U16 European Championships make the step up – Joshua Osayanrhion (Tralee Magic/Garvey’s Tralee Warriors), Declan Gbinigie (Titans BC), Harry Scully (Dublin Lions) and Jakub Malecki (Drogheda Wolves).
“The process to date has been really enjoyable. The commitment of the players both on and off the court has been joy for our staff to be around”, says head coach Paul Kelleher.
“Some really really good players haven’t been selected to move forward with the programme, hence the depth of talent we have within the squad. With the Four Nations around the corner in Cardiff, and the FIBA U18 European Championship brought forward significantly this year, the time was right to move the squad forward. It’s a squad you can clearly see has experience at various levels and hopefully with that ability and experience together now, we can continue to grow as a group in all areas.”