WITH the blending of home-grown talent and graduate imports at an all-time high in Irish women’s basketball, here are five players to watch out for during this weekend’s Hula Hoops National Cup finals, which sees five titles up for grabs at the National Basketball Arena.
Jazmen Boone, Courtyard Liffey Celtics
The American impressively showcased her talent in the National Cup semi-final win over DCU Mercy, contributing 26 points for Courtyard Liffey Celtics.
Boone, aged 24, spent much of her life travelling the world with her US military parents, and often joined the Navy Seals for basketball practice, so her determination is just as fierce as her point-guard skills.
Michelle Fahy, Maree BC
One of the greatest female players to come out of Ireland, Fahy has won multiple National Cup and Superleague titles with University Limerick and Glanmire, while last year she helped NUIG Mystics claim their first ever Division 1 Cup title.
A serious post player, it’s not only Fahy’s scoring that poses a huge threat, it’s her passing and ability to bring those around her into the game.
Katie Fox, Marble City Hawks
Fox previously played with Boone for Waterford Wildcats before transferring to Marble City Hawks. Originally from Ohio – where she was rated in the Top 100 female players of all time – Fox went onto play for St Francis in Brooklyn, New York, before coming to study in Ireland.
At 5’5”, she is an incredibly talented point guard and links up brilliantly with Kelly O’Hallahan of New Zealand. A superb three-point shooter, Fox hit 26 points in the cup semi-final, and she’s likely to star again in the Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup Final on Sunday against Ulster Rockets (2.30pm).
Rachel Huijsdens, DCU Mercy
Carlee Lough, Ulster Rockets
Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Lough played four years at Weber State University before beginning her professional career with Timisoara BC in Romania.
Another point guard at 5’11”, expect Lough’s aggressive drives to light up the National Arena alongside fellow Americans Zee Shahid-Martin and Mimi Troy for coach Breda Dick’s side as they bid for their first Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup title on Sunday, as are their opponents Marble City Hawks (2.30pm).