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Well dunk to Douglas legend!

Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 4:26pm

A Leeside basketball legend who coached and taught in Douglas National School for decades is one of four people set to be inducted into the Basketball Ireland Hall of Fame.

Tom Wilkinson, one of the most decorated players in the history of Irish basketball, will be inducted alongside fellow Corkonian Caroline Forde, Kildare woman Michelle Aspell and Carlow’s Noel Keating.

Nominations were made by the public, with an independent nominations committee announcing the four final recipients to join the 12 existing Basketball Ireland Hall of Fame members.

Wilkinson, whose career spanned three trophy-filled decades, played a crucial role for Neptune Basketball Club as it became the most dominant team the domestic men’s league has ever known.

He also excelled at international level, scoring 20 points for Burgerland Neptune in their historic 1982 Roy Curtis international tournament final win over the famed Murray International Metals from Scotland.

Renowned for his mental toughness, leadership and terrific outside shooting, Wilkinson played more than 100 times for Ireland between 1976 and 1988, captaining the side for the last three of those seasons.

Upon retiring in 1991 after winning a second league and Top Four double, Wilkinson served as Neptune club treasurer for a number of years before coaching the club to another Super League title in 1997.

Wilkinson went on to coach multiple teams in Douglas National School, where he taught for decades before recently retiring, and Douglas Community School, helping popularise the sport on the southside of Cork city.

CEO of Basketball Ireland, Bernard O’Byrne said: “2020 is a significant year in the history of Irish basketball, as it marks the 75th anniversary of the organisation and we are really looking forward to this induction ceremony as being a key part of the anniversary celebrations. All the recipients are delighted to be honoured and it should be a memorable occasion for all involved.”

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