Founders Of Celtic Basketball Club Honoured At Grand Hotel

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Liam Hurley, Charles O’Sullivan and Michael Clifford at the Celtic Basketball Club function on Friday night in The Grand Hotel. Photo by Dermot Crean

THE founding members of a Tralee basketball club which set the foundations for the great success of the sport in the town were celebrated on a night of nostalgia at the Grand Hotel on Friday.

Founding members and coaches of Celtic Basketball Club, Tom Falvey and Joe Joe O’Sullivan were in attendance with their families to receive presentations.

The late Teddy Moynihan and Paddy Knowles were also remembered for their contribution to the club which put Tralee on the map when it came to basketball. Also attending were a number of former players who recalled their playing days.

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Padraig Falvey Joe Joe O’Sullivan, Geraldine O’Sullivan and David Falvey at the Celtic Basketball Club function on Friday night in The Grand Hotel. Photo by Dermot Crean

The formation as a club came about as a result of a merger between the Tannery Basketball club and St Johns Pipe band. Initially Celtic was launched as an under age club in 1974, with the aim of building a squad strong enough to compete in the National League.

Their spectacular success at all levels of under age provided the foundation for their participation in Division Two of the National League in 1977/78.

Progression to Division One followed after a season with the recruitment of Americans Greg Trotman and Larry Oeding adding that professional element to the squad.

Sean Reidy, Ger O’Mahony, Patrick Knowles and Colm Sheehy at the Celtic Basketball Club function on Friday night in The Grand Hotel. Photo by Dermot Crean

In what was a hugely competitive division Celtic finished just outside the Top Four Play Offs, but, having slipped into the bottom half of the table by 1981/82 they subsequently opted out due to the considerable financial constraints imposed on them.

However, their period in the top flight is always recalled as one which lifted basketball to an elite level in Tralee, and provided the template for the subsequent success which followed with first Tralee Tigers and now Tralee Warriors.

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