Cian Is Back And Says He’s Enjoying His US Basketball Experience

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OVER the last few weeks, former Mounthawk student, Cian Sullivan, gained national attention after he became only the eighth Irish basketball player – and the first Kerry man – to sign a contract to play with a US College (see previous story).

At the beginning of the month, news spread that the Ballymac teenager had signed and would next year hook up with Le Salle University in Philadelphia, after he finishes a year at St Andrew’s Prep School in Rhode Island.

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Cian Sullivan is presented with a special glass vase to acknowledge his scholorship to LaSalle University by Mercy Mounthawk Principal, Jim O'Rourke. Photo by Gavin O'Connor.

Cian Sullivan is presented with a special case to acknowledge his scholorship to LaSalle University by Mercy Mounthawk Principal, John O’Roarke. Photo by Gavin O’Connor.

While back on home soil for Thanksgiving holidays, we caught up with Cian to hear how his chance at the big time has been going and life in prep school.

“I’ve been getting on great with everyone; teammates, coaches and classmates,” siad Cian.

Since he arrived at St Andrews three months ago, the seven-foot-tall teenager has been soaking up everything he can from his coaches and adjusting to a new school curriculum.

“My shooting has gone a lot better, I’m getting faster and stronger as well, so it’s all good. The coaches focus on the small details a lot more then the coaches here,” said Cian.

Despite being the only international player on the team, the school is a melting pot of different nationalities, with students from all over coming to take on the prep school experience.

For Cian, what happens in the classroom is as important as what happens out in the court, so far though schoolwork has gone really well.

“I find it a lot easier than over here because homework goes towards your grade, it’s continuous assessment. The effort you put in goes into your grade as well, tests are only about 40% of the overall grade.”

Cian O'Sullivan. Photo by Gavin O'Connor.

Cian O’Sullivan. Photo by Gavin O’Connor.

The daily routine at St Andrews begins with an early rise of 5:30pm for training, but Cian assures us that’s not every morning. School begins at 8:00am and ending some days at 1:30pm and others at 2:40pm.

Study time is between 3 and 4pm. From then, until just after 6pm, is training followed by dinner, then more study time between 7:30pm to 9:30pm with lights going out at 11pm.

Quite an intensive regime, but it’s not all work.

“We do get a bit of time to ourselves. If we want to go play Xbox or something we can do that. Weekends, we train or stay in the house, we also head to Providence as well, which is the closest city.”

The season for St Andrews gets started on December 2 and will go on until the playoffs in March.

“We’ll be all over the east coast playing, we’ll also head up to Canada for a few games.”

The school year will finish in May, then it will be back home to Tralee for a bit in the Summer, before taking on his next step at La Salle University and hopefully greater things.

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