VIDEO: Mounthawk Student Eyes Hoop Dreams After Winning US Scholarship

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Cian Sullivan, with Mercy Mounthawk basketball coach, John Dowling. Photo by Gavin O'Connor.

Cian Sullivan, with Mercy Mounthawk basketball coach, John Dowling. Photo by Gavin O’Connor.

A MERCY Mounthawk student has designs on making it big in the NBA after winning a scholarship to a prestigious US prep school.

Standing at seven feet tall, Cian Sullivan already looks the part.

Now, by winning a scholarship at a $50,000 a year St Andrews prep school in Rhode Island USA, the Ballymac 18 year old is on the right path to make his dreams come true.

Cian has his head firmly screwed on though, as his eyes are firmly fixed on getting to the next step in his young career, which will be gaining a college scholarship in the States.

Continued below…

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The son of John and Anita Sullivan of Ballymac, Cian has had a busy year juggling his basketball commitments and studying for the leaving cert but he’s handled it well.

“It hasn’t been difficult at all. I don’t do much other things, so it’s just basketball and school I’m focused on,” said Cian.

Cian tells us a prep school is basically like repeating 6th year. At St Andrews  he will study regular subjects such as maths and English along with furthering his ability as a player.

St Andrews, is ranked in the top 25 basketball prep schools in America and a fantastic stepping stone for establishing a career in basketball.

“I’m really excited about going over there, I’ll arrive in late August, school starts in September. For the last two years I’ve been looking for somewhere to go, so I decided to apply for St Andrews in November last and I received word in January that I had got in,” he said.

A former alumni of St Andrews is current NBA star and former NBA Rookie of the Year winner, Micheal Carter Williams, so there is a possible path to the big time should Cian seize his opportunity.

Though Cian has not yet played for the national side, such has been his development over the past year or so, he is said to be a shoe-in for the next selection of the Ireland U20s next year.

Mercy Mounthawk teacher and basketball coach, John Dowling, has had influential hand in Cian gaining this opportunity. The teacher, himself a experienced basketball player, made videos of Cian playing so that scouts in the US could see his talent.

“It’s a huge thing for the school, a huge thing for the county and a huge thing for the country,” said John Dowling.

“Only a small minority actually get this far, the fact he’s going to a school that is $50,000 a year to go to and several NBA players have already attended, it’s a big thing. I was speaking to the St Andrews coach over the phone last night and he said he has already arranged three college scouts to come and have a look at Cian,” John said.

“We’re very proud of him because he has worked his socks off. What he is now and what he was two years ago are two different people. Being a seven footer, it can take a while for the co-ordination to come. I’d love to have another year with him because we’d win all round us,” he said.

Plans are already in place for a Mounthawk team to head over to Rhode Island next year while Cian is out there playing.

“It will be a great thrill for the school to do that. All the players in the school are going to be looking up to him now, which is great for us,” he said. See video below of Cian’s basketball skills

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