The standard of basketball in Ireland has increased dramatically in recent years. Both the men's and women's domestic leagues have come on in leaps and bounds, both in terms of the standard of play and interest in the competitions.
Some of our players are also going beyond these borders in order to pursue the sport. Aidan Harris Igiehon has just played his debut season at Louisville and is said to have genuine NBA prospects. Pat Burke may not be the only Irish-born player to feature in the league for too much longer.
Another Irish prospect is also starting to draw some serious interest from some of the biggest colleges in the USA.
ND Okafor's breakout performance came in last year's FIBA U16 European Championships, where he had a monster few games representing Ireland. He averaged 16.1 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks in eight games, recording a double-double in every game.
Already standing at 6-foot-7, he certainly has the type of frame that is appealing to coaches.
Some of the biggest names in college basketball are taking an interest in bringing him on board in 2022. He has already received offers from Arizona and Baylor, while it is expected that the likes of Kentucky and Georgia could also make offers.
Blessed to have received an offer from Arizona wildcats🙏🏾#🐻 pic.twitter.com/ZMFxKeNLYi
— ND🎱 (@Nd_Okafor23) June 15, 2020
— ND🎱 (@Nd_Okafor23) June 14, 2020
A quick look at Okafor's highlights and you can see why he is such a tantalising prospect.
Having only turned 17-years old in March, the former Dundalk Ravens player looks set to have a big future ahead of him.
We will certainly be keeping a close eye on his development.
(Image credit: FIBA)