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O'Sullivan out to impress in the US

Irish Under-18 International Adrian O'Sullivan is hoping to revise the fortunes of the international team this summer.

In 2009, high hopes at Under-16 level were cut short with the panel's narrow losses in the European Championships. Although the appointed co-captain O'Sullivan averaged double digits in the contests, the team couldn't connect for victory.

"I worked hard for two years before finally being chosen to represent Ireland and that was a dream come true" stated O'Sullivan.

"Things got tough losing every day by a narrow margin of points and every day we had to be energetic and enthusiastic. It was really hard.

"I am really proud of our performance as a team because we stuck together and our coaches (Matt Hall and Martin McGettrick) were so positive.

"Being appointed co-captain was a highlight and I think it showed that I could be trusted and could take a high level of responsibility.

"I like to think I was a good leader on my team and even with the outcomes, I believe we competed to the best of our ability in every minute of every day."

This season, O'Sullivan has been selected to outfit for the Under-18 Men's panel and he couldn't be prouder. By his side will be his father, Francis O'Sullivan, who was appointed head coach of the team last year.

"I enjoy playing for my dad as it is like playing for any other coach," said the youngster. "He treats me the same as any other player.

"But during the game he is my coach and when the game is over, he goes back to being my dad.

"To get to represent Ireland two years in a row is a great honour and has been a goal of mine for a long time -- all with my father by my side."

O'Sullivan is determined not to let last year's performances dictate the outcome for the Under-18's USA trip.

With one week of team training camp and then the popular summer AAU Tournament, O'Sullivan is looking forward to the experience of intense competition against older players stateside.

"To make a team with players a year older was something I have always aimed for and this trip is all about playing with older Irish players and against older American players from all over the States," he said.

"Some of our opponents are future professionals and I can't wait to compete against them and find out my strengths and weaknesses."

The AAU Tournament will host hundreds of teams from across America with over 1,000 college coaches on the search for the next star players.

O'Sullivan realises that even though the trip is a team effort, it's a prime opportunity for a personal goal to be met.

"A long term goal is to attend school in America but I know I must have small realistic short term goals as well." he continued.

"I need to work on getting stronger and my individual skills but mostly I'm looking forward to travelling with the team and doing the best we can to represent our country."

You can follow how Adrian's progresses in competition with the Under-18 Men's National Team at www.basketballireland.ie/international.