Honouring The Trailblazers Of Basketball In Tralee At The Grand Hotel

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A TRALEE basketball club which raised the game to an elite level in the town will be celebrated at an event in the Grand Hotel this Friday night.

While Warriors are enjoying success in the Superleague and Tralee Tigers brought home silverware in the recent past, Celtic were the trailblazers back in the 1970s and the occasion will recognise the achievements of the club.

Sports journalist, Timmy Sheehan writes: “Their formation as a club came about as a result of a merger between the Tannery Basketball club and St Johns Pipe band who are still very much an integral part of the town’s activities.

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On reflection it may seem an unlikely combination, but, with the Tannery, personnel wise, at the end of what was a successful era for them, and St Johns who had a host of young Basketball talent within their ranks, but, were without facility to practice they joined ranks, complimented each other and flourished together.

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.

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, and, has been carried on to this present day.

On this coming Friday night in The Grand Hotel, Denny Street, 7.30pm, Celtic will remember and acknowledge the enormous contributions made by Tom Falvey, Joe Joe Sullivan, and by Teddy Moynihan and Paddy Knowles, both sadly deceased to the foundation and success of this club.

A night of nostalgia and celebration, for former players, supporters, officials, and their families, and an opportunity to pay tribute to the aforementioned, all of whom were significant figures in this sporting success story.”

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