McCann relishing European challenge

Connor McCann one of three young basketball stars from Northern Ireland heading to Macedonia for the European U16 Championships this summer 2014. Photo: Joe Fox
Connor McCann one of three young basketball stars from Northern Ireland heading to Macedonia for the European U16 Championships this summer 2014. Photo: Joe Fox
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A Newtownabbey teenager says his dreams have become reality after he was selected for Ireland’s Under-16 basketball squad for the European Championships.

Connor McCann, along with Belfast Star team-mates Josh Briers (Templepatrick), and Isaac Byrne (Holywood), have been named in a 12-strong squad for this summer’s tournament in FYR Macedonia.

“When I was younger I always dreamt of representing Ireland at basketball,” said Connor. “My dreams would not have become a reality if it wasn’t for the continued support from my family, friends, coaches, the Mary Peters Trust and Newtownabbey Borough Council.”

Now the Glengormley lad is determined to fine tune his preparation for August’s competition.

“Throughout the rest of the year I must stay focused and continue to work hard in order to get the most out of the upcoming months. I am thoroughly excited for the challenges ahead,” he added.

Templepatrick’s Briers added: “The next number of months will be extremely physically and mentally challenging for the whole team with school exams alongside training, but as I have already learnt it is only in putting in the hard work that you stand a chance of reaching the highest level.”

To help with the financial costs of training and competing in the European Championships, the Star trio, are planning a number of fundraising events this year which began with the ‘2000 Shots’ event on March 10.