WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Published 07/03/2010 | 05:00
Unlike most Americans brought to Ireland during the basketball revolution here in the 1980s, Ed Randolph did not go home.
The 50-year-old lives in Bray and is still playing basketball. His current team are Rathmines who he joined last year from Superleague side Dart Killester. He has also just embarked on a new career as a referee, assisting for the first time last week.
Randolph is a PE teacher at St Joseph's of Killiney, basketball and sport dominate his life. He recently set up a new team called the Dublin Lazers where he coaches six of the club's teams.
The little time he has left over is spent encouraging and guiding his sons Darren and Neil as they follow their chosen sporting paths. Darren is the substitute 'keeper at Charlton Athletic and Neil is hoping to go follow his father's footsteps with a basketball scholarship in Ed's homeland.
Randolph senior's scholarship was to Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. After graduation, he had two options open to him: Enter the real world of employment or head to Europe to give professional basketball a shot.
As fate would have it, two scouts from the Sporting Belfast club were in the area and they showed an interested in Randolph. The troubles in the North were at their height and despite being told by his recruiters that there weren't many blacks, or even Americans, in Belfast, his resolve wasn't swayed and he signed up.
He played a few seasons in Europe going between Ireland, England and France before eventually returning to the USA. While there, Randolph got a call from Enda Burke offering him a contract in Ennistymon with the Claremont Admirals.
It was during his time in Clare that he met his wife Anne, a local girl who worked in the bank. Spells with Galway Democrats and Team Tivoli in Dundalk kept the couple on the move.
Randolph went on to play two seasons with the Marian club in Dublin followed by stints in Limerick and Killarney before he finally returned to the capital to settle with Dart Killester.
The American looks back on his professional career, and his time here, fondly. Although Ireland is a different place to what it was when he arrived here in the '80s, he says the people haven't changed. And that is Randolph's favourite thing about the place he now calls home.