It’s A Long Long Way from Clare to Here

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IRISH HOOPSTERS VISIT BREEZY

Ireland’s Ennistymon hoopsters, of the vintage type, arrive in Breezy Point on Saturday, June 1 to celebrate the 27th Annual Frank Gallery Basketball Tournament.

Dan Leary, who played with the Claremont Admirals in 1982 and led them to success in the Irish Basketball Association’s National League Qualification, is the host for the event at Breezy Point. All visitors will be accommodated in the community. Frank Gallery was a key personality on and off the court, playing for six years in Division 2 of the Irish National Basketball League. He died in a motor accident in 1993.

There are more ties to Ennistymon than Leary’s Irish ball playing experience. A collection of Graybeards visited Ennistymon in 2004 and took part in the Frank Gallery Tournament, and some eight years later, after Hurricane Sandy struck, the GPA (Gaelic Players Association) and Aer Lingus collaborated to provide a work crew and helped complete some major reconstruction work which was the subject of a TG4 documentary.

Irish government funding was also provided.

Games this weekend will be at the St. Thomas More court and the outdoor courts in Breezy. A tournament reception will be held at the Sugar Bowl on Saturday.

Over the 27 years, the tournament has been graced at different times by all of the club’s former U.S. collegiate players: Dan Leary (University of Rochester), Kevin Darmody (University of South Carolina), Luke Murphy (Hofstra), Curtis Gibson (Missouri University of Science and Technology- Rolla), and Ed Randolph (Roger Williams University). Randolph continues to live in Ireland and is father of current Irish soccer goalkeeper, Darren Randolph.

A traveling party of 22 will descend on Breezy Point on May 31. The tournament format will have a 3 on 3 tournament on Saturday, June 1 with mixed teams made up from the visitors and local Breezy and Rockaway hoopsters, and on Sunday, Claremont Admirals Old Stars will play a Breezy Point Select team for the Frank Gallery Trophy 2019.

The event helps keep the game of basketball alive, but more importantly, it helps renew friendships and strengthens the bonds between the communities.

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