Gifted Colm prepares to wear the green

A gifted young Kilkenny basketball player is set to carry the colours on the international stage, writes John Knox.

A gifted young Kilkenny basketball player is set to carry the colours on the international stage, writes John Knox.

Colm Prendiville, a member of Kilkenny Stars basketball club, won his way through a series of exhaustive trials and made the 12 man Irish under-16 squad for the forthcoming European championship qualifiers.

“Sheer hard work and commitment got Colm where he is,” insisted chairman and one of the club coach, Wayne Edwards.

“There were no Kilkenny stars of the past as such to inspire him. He wanted this and he went for it. He is a lovely chap and a player of enormous potential.”

Colm is son of Martin and Deirdre Prendiville, Kilmanagh. His dad hails from Kerry and his mother, the former Deirdre Malone, won nine senior All-Ireland camogie medals with Kilkenny during a distinguished career spanning the eighties and early nineties.

Colm, who will celebrate his 16th birthday in May, stands 6’4” tall and is said to be equally at home in offensive or defensive mode.

He is a student at St Kieran’s College, where he plays hurling and football with the junior teams. He is also a hugely valuable member of Adrian Ronan’s talented under-16 hurling squad in the Graigue-Ballycallan club.

“We look forward to Colm doing well with Ireland,” Adrian Ronan said. “He has worked hard to earn this opportunity. We are thrilled for him. When he is ready we will welcome him back with open arms.”

“One thing that separates Colm from others is that he is determined to be the best he can be,” Wayne Edwards offered. “He spends hours working on his game, right and left hand, and both his parents offer great encouragement.

“He is a huge talent. His work ethic and motivation are unreal. Very few people would put in the work and effort he has. He is a pleasure to work with, and invariably after training and matches he comes over to say thanks.”

The weeding out process for this All-Ireland squad has been going on since October 2012. A Development Squad of 20 was selected initially by Basketball Ireland and that has now been cut down to the final dozen.

The squad is being prepared for the Euro qualifiers in Macedonia in August. The other teams in Ireland’s group are Germany, Estonia and Latvia.

Two teams from the group will win through to the championships proper.

The training regime is demanding, and it will be stepped up over the coming months. Colm is also working hard for the Junior Certificate, which he will sit in June.

The Kilkenny Stars club caters for nearly 200 members with teams at under-12, 13 (girls only), 14, 16 and 18 levels for boys and girls.