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Globe-trotter Townes to draw on Durant lessons in National Cup's Dublin derby

 

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'Killeen kept in touch with Townes who would go on to Germany and Iceland after his departure from Neptune and the relationship led the American back to Ireland this year' (stock photo)

'Killeen kept in touch with Townes who would go on to Germany and Iceland after his departure from Neptune and the relationship led the American back to Ireland this year' (stock photo)

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'Killeen kept in touch with Townes who would go on to Germany and Iceland after his departure from Neptune and the relationship led the American back to Ireland this year' (stock photo)

Templeogue's Darren Townes aims to teach UCD Marian a lesson from his time playing against Kevin Durant in the first round of the National Cup tonight.

The New Yorker's experience has already been put to good use in the competition, helping Neptune secure victory in 2013 during a previous stint in Ireland.

The coolness he displayed for the Cork club then was developed playing against the future Brooklyn Nets star Durant when the pair competed at youth AAU tournaments in America.

"I remember playing against him in a tournament down in Washington DC. We were maybe 15, 16, 17," he recalled. "He was already 6' 10" at that stage. People were like, 'Oh, that's Kevin Durant, he's going to be in the NBA'. I was like, 'Do you guys want to win this thing?'"

While Durant rose to superstardom in the United States, Townes - appropriately enough from Harlem - began globe-trotting and playing basketball internationally.

Amped

Following stints in Chile, Finland and Portugal, he led Neptune to glory against UL Eagles in the Cup final six years ago.

"I remember one play came down and I got a dunk on my current Templeogue team-mate Jason (Killeen). That pretty much amped the team up and the crowd we had over there," he recalled.

"It's been extremely hard to reach those heights again. That team was truly talented."

Killeen kept in touch with Townes who would go on to Germany and Iceland after his departure from Neptune and the relationship led the American back to Ireland this year.

The 33-year-old is now studying for a master's in TV and radio at Griffith College, while also reacquainting himself with the Irish game.

"I'm still getting used to the team and some of the players. I'm pretty sure the players are trying to get used to me. I see the potential of this team," he said.

Templeogue, who sit eighth in the Super League after two wins and two losses, will hope to avoid a repeat of last year which saw them bow out to Tralee at the first round. Townes' new team-mates have told him what to expect from UCD Marian tonight.

"I expect they're going to come in here and fight like dogs. I expect them to come in swinging, pretty much. A dogfight," he said.

Meanwhile, Tralee progress to the second round of the competition where they will face reigning Cup champions Killester after beating Killorglin 83-60 in last night's Kerry derby.

MEN'S NATIONAL CUP - Today: Maree v Belfast Star, Calasanctius College-Galway, 4.0; Templeogue v UCD Marian, Nord Anglia International School, 7.0; DCU Saints v Dublin Lions, St Vincent's, 8.0.

Irish Independent