Old Leighlin’s Jack Kehoe & Roland Sanni have been included in an initial 33-person quad by Ireland Under 18 men’s coach Paul Kelleher as they begin preparations for the FIBA European Championships next year.
Kehoe featured for Ireland’s Under 18s in Romania earlier this year, helping Kelleher’s side to a 20th-place finish overall.
Oran O’Boyle from Carlow Basketball Club also made the U17 cut.
Jack & co, would no doubt like to follow in the footsteps of Patrick John Burke who is an Irish former professional basketball player who played in the NBA. Burke, whose family moved from Tullamore, Ireland, to Cleveland, Ohio, when he was three years old, competed in the NBA with Orlando Magic and Pheonix Suns and also played in Europe with the likes of Real Madrid, ending his career with the Polish club Asseco Prokom Sopot. He was a co-captain of the senior Irish national basketball team and also represented his country at the World University Games.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant became the then-youngest player to make his NBA debut (18 years, 2 months, 11 days) in a 91-85 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Great Western Forum
That was beaten in the same year by Jermaine O’Neal of the Portland Trail Blazers who was 19 days younger. Then that was bested by Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005 at 18 years, 6 days.
In 2006, the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement no longer allowed players to make the leap to the league straight out of high school. Prospects must now turn 19 years old in the same year they declare for the draft and must be one year removed from high school.