The University of Scranton men's basketball team is on a 10-day trip to Ireland, beginning on July 31 through August 9. During the trip, the Royals will share their experiences both on and off the court with updates to this page throughout the trip. Check back throughout the trip to find out more!
Wednesday, August 1
Hey everyone, Danny Doolan here! I'm a rising junior on the basketball team at the University and enjoying our time here at Ireland! We arrived on Tuesday morning and went straight to the Rock of Cashel from the plane. The castle on the grounds was beautiful and the scenery was tremendous. They showed us an educational video regarding the history of the castle, which would've been incredibly interesting … if it were in a language we could understand! After exploring the grounds we checked into the hotel and sat down to a delicious team dinner and later ventured out to local shops.
On the second day we were up bright and early to tour Cobh and learn about the history of the infamous Titanic. Not many of us knew that the boat actually departed from Cobh or much of the history regarding the tragic events of the Titanic, so it was a very interesting experience. Afterward, we traveled to Blarney, where we toured the grounds. There were breathtaking trails and views wherever you looked, and of course the famous Blarney Stone. After we all kissed the stone, we enjoyed a team dinner and got ourselves locked in for the first game of our trip. We played against the Neptune Basketball Club in Neptune Stadium in Cork, but unfortunately lost. They were an incredibly talented and experienced team and that wound up hurting us down the stretch. After the game, we had a social at a local restaurant where we ate and hung out with players from the opposing team, which was a great time.
All in all, the first two days have been unbelievable. While the loss still stings, we're confident that we will learn from our errors and improve immensely for our next game. Check in again soon!
Saturday, August 4
Hello, my name is Kyle DeVerna and I am a rising junior on the men's basketball team. After recovering from our first game Wednesday night, the team took a short bus ride to the scenic Charles Fort, located in Kinsale. Right when we arrived, I was taken aback by the beautiful view of of Kinsale Harbor. Once our tour was underway, our guide thoroughly explained the structure of Charles Fort, and why the dimensions are imperative for the fort's safety if an invader were ever to attack. We then learned the history of the soldiers who resided at military site. Their living conditions were not ideal, to say the least. Eleven men would be assigned to a room with no beds and a scarce number of blankets. However, the most important part of war is fighting for those who are next to you, which is exactly what The University of Scranton men's basketball team tries to embody day in and day out.
On Friday, we were on the road early making our way to Killarney. We went through the breathtaking Caha Mountains, which reach up to 2,247 feet high. I believe I can speak for everyone who was on the bus when I say we were all in awe of the views. One small dilemma was passing through the tunnels in the mountains. The bus fit just by inches, but thankfully for our skillful driver, we made it through with no damages. Once we arrived in Killarney, we concluded the night with a team and family dinner at the hotel.
So far Ireland has been a surreal experience. While we have been busy taking in all of the great aspects in this country, we are still here to win basketball games. Thank you for keeping up with the trip. I hope everyone has a great rest of their summer!
Tuesday, August 7
Hi everyone! Jack Connelly here checking in for the final portion of our trip. Killarney was a hopping city, offering lots of excitement with no shortage of things to do. Saturday night granted us the opportunity to get caught up in the passion of local sport, as the streets of the city and nearby stadium flooded with seas of green and yellow jerseys. County Kerry's Gaelic Football Club and hometown pride pulled out an impressive victory over their rivals from Kildare. For those of you who have never seen Gaelic Football, trust me, it's worth a Google.
A trip to Tralee on Sunday provided us with our next international challenge. We laced up against the Tralee Warriors, another pro team coached by Scranton area native and friend of program, Pat Price. Filled bleachers, some wild blocked shots from our boys in purple, and a ridiculously close game created an awesome atmosphere. However, experience got the best of us for a second time.
Anyone familiar with Scranton basketball knows that no matter how many times we get knocked down, we always get back up again. Monday night we did just that. Visibility at the Cliffs of Moher during our day travels closely resembled the fog, rain, and cloud coverage we're so used to in Scranton. Just a bit worse I may add, considering we wouldn't have been able to see the Dionne Green from the Long Center. Upon our arrival at St. Mary's College in Galway, things cleared up. The ball was whipping around the perimeter, we were knocking down shots, and that hard-nosed style of play we all know and love resurfaced in our 16-point win. Things are beginning to click, and our young but talented team is making significant strides, looking forward to the upcoming season.
Today we sail to the Aran Islands as we approach the end of our Irish expedition. On behalf of Scranton Men's Basketball, I would like to thank all of the program friends, families, and supporters for following along and making trips like this possible for us.
As always, it's a great day to be a Royal!