NATIONAL LEAGUE BASKETBALL will make a long-awaited and welcome return to Killarney after an absence of nearly a decade and St Paul’s Killarney playing under the ‘Scotts Lakers’ banner will open their campaign with a home game against Dublin Lions this Saturday, September 16, at 7.30pm in Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre.

The new National League campaign for Scotts Lakers was launched by Brendan Griffin, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, in Scotts Hotel on Friday night.

MC for the occasion Kieran Healy introduced the various speakers to the huge crowd that attended the launch. St Paul’s Basketball Club Chairman Padraig said the club has been growing at a tremendous rate in recent years catering for 400 juvenile members.

Scotts Lakers National League committee chairman Aidan Quirke spoke about the fantastic response from local businesses in Killarney and how it would not be possible to compete at national level without them. He was also lavish in his praise for Maurice O’Donoghue and Scotts Hotel for their role as the main team sponsor and also to Killarney Credit Union for coming on board as a club sponsor.

Mayor of Killarney Niall Kelleher recalled Killarney’s long association with basketball including the Busby Babes era and the great Gleneagle Killarney team in the 1970s and 80s under Paudie O’Connor. He praised the O’Donoghues for their support of basketball from Gleneagle in the past and the new team with Scotts Hotel support.

Mayor of Kerry John Sheahan recalled his own fond memories of attending many national league games in the past and was looking forward to attending again and supporting the club in every way.

Main photo above: Scott Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball team members Mark Greene, Andrew Fitzgerald, Antuan Bootle and Philip O’Connor, Captain, in full flight. PICTURES: EAMONN KEOGH