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Game officials court Obama

Basketball Ireland are awaiting news on whether their bid to host US president Barack Obama during his trip to Ireland has been successful.

It confirmed that an invite had been sent to the US embassy and the White House for President Obama to attend the National Basketball Arena. The association believes it would be fitting that he would visit Basketball HQ considering the strong links that exist between the US and Ireland from a basketball point of view.

The American influence on the sport in this country remains as strong as ever.

In 2008, collegiate giants Notre Dame University, the Fighting Irish, spent their pre-season in Ireland, while fellow giants University of Pittsburgh made the trip in 2010 to compete in games in Cork, Dublin and Belfast.



Showcase

The visit would also prove to be a huge fillip for Tallaght and would showcase the major developments in the South West of Dublin. "A potential visit would provide a very important injection of confidence and recognition for the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and players involved in basketball in Ireland," said BI general secretary Bernard O'Byrne.

"Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States and the sight of the president wearing an Ireland jersey would be a sight to behold for the millions of Irish Americans."

President Obama has made no secret of his love for basketball and regularly attends top matches as well as playing on a social basis.

Meanwhile, the Ireland Under-16 Girls squad has been revealed ahead of their European Championship campaign in Romania in August.

The team will be led by head coach Joey Boylan who brings a wealth of international experience to a team with only two returning players.

"We are looking forward to competing at this level and representing Ireland," said Boylan. "Our biggest challenge will be the little amount of time we have to prepare but I am confident that the girls will be able to bond together and win some games."

Their opening match sees the Girls in Green meeting Switzerland in Division B, Group D.

Full U16 Women's schedule, Arad, Romania

August 8: Ireland v Switzerland

August 12: Germany v Ireland

August 13: Ireland v Denmark

International squad U16 Women

(name, school, club)

Aedín Ní Dhonall (íosagáin, Meteors) Aileen Crowley (Calasanctius, Maree) Alison McGrath (Teresian, Meteors) Erin Bracken (Col Chiaráin, Liffey Celtics)

Ingrid Gaffney (Mourne Road, Oblate)

Jennifer Sheehan (OLM, Oblate) Katie Moloney (OLM, Oblate) Jessica O'Sullivan (íosagáin, Meteors)

Lauren Falvey (Ballyphehane, Fr Matthews) Lesley Ann Wilkinson (Phiarsaigh, Glanmire) Lisa Mullins (Phiarsaigh, Glanmire) Lorna McNamee (Oblate) Orla Keoghegan (Kilcock, Liffey Celtics) Samantha Massey (Cabra, Tolka Rovers)

Shannon Farrell (Mourne Road, Oblate) Shannon Whelan (Rathangan, Kestrels)

Head coach: Joey Boylan

Assistant coach: Danny Thompson

Manager: Ann Diffney


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