Ireland U18 men’s head coach Paul Kelleher has named his 25-man squad following a series of practice sessions, as he builds towards the European Championships next summer.
It includes 6’9” forward/centre ND Okafor (11 caps), who is with the NBA Academy in Mexico. In total there are seven players based abroad in the squad, three of those are in the USA - Ryan Djoussa (Trinity Byrnes/Team Renegade Elite, 13 caps), Clinton Efinda (Lawrence Woodmere Academy/Midwest Basketball Club, 14 caps), and Silas Sunday (Our Savior Lutheran/New York Lightning), the 7’1” centre is one of 13 uncapped players in the squad.
Two of the squad are playing in England - uncapped Barking Abbey forward Aodhan Daly and John Madejski Academy forward Roniel Oguekwe (14 caps). 14-times capped guard Mobi Ikegwuruka, who is in the Czech Republic with the Get Better Academy, is also selected.
The 18 Ireland-based players selected includes all six players who earlier this month competed for Ireland in European qualifiers for the FIBA U17 Skills Challenge 2020 – Ben Burke, Ruairi Cronin, Killian Gribben, Daniel O’Sullivan and twin brothers Sean Pollmann-Daamen and Tim Pollmann-Daamen.
Ireland U18 men’s head coach Paul Kelleher said: “This has been an extensive process, and one that we have thoroughly enjoyed with all the players. However, we had to make decisions and difficult one’s at that. We believe in this group, we have a lot of pieces that we can put together to make a cohesive unit for next summer. We will move forward with this group, and see what happens at the next selection phase. All our staff and very much looking forward to working with this group now."
The squad in full:
Samuel Badejo, Reece Barry, Ben Burke, Joseph Coughlan, Ruairi Cronin, Aodhan Daly,
Ryan Djoussa, Clinton Efinda, Joe Ensko, Wede Esajobar, Darragh Ferguson, Brian
Gaffney, Killian Gribben,Mobi Ikegwuruka, Cillian O’Connell, Jack O’Leary,
Michael O’Mahony, Daniel O’Sullivan, Jamie O’Sullivan, Roniel Oguekwe, ND
Okafor, Sean Pollman-Daamen, Tim Pollman-Daamen, Ajay Ryan Walsh,