Basketball: Marble City Hawks to fly Kilkenny flag in Super League

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Katie Fox (Marble City Hawks) in full flow against Ulster Elks PICTURE: PAT MOORE

The cream of Kilkenny's basketballers will be representing the county at the top level in the women's game next season.

The Marble City Hawks will compete in the women's Super League after Basketball Ireland announced that the men’s and women’s National Leagues will expand from 42 teams to 49 teams for the upcoming 2018/19 season.

In the Women’s Super League Kilkenny's Marble City Hawks and Fr Mathews have been promoted to the Super League to make a 10-team league, while Portlaoise Panthers have been regraded to the Women’s Division One.

New additions to the Men’s Super League sees the promotion of Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin and Neptune BC to the division at the cost of Éanna and KUBS, who will play their basketball in the Men’s Division One next year.

Meanwhile, the two Division One leagues have experienced big growth this year. The Men’s Division One league will expand from 14 teams last season to 17 teams this year. This growth will see the division split into two conferences – North and South – and sees three men’s teams in Limerick: LIT, UL Eagles and Limerick Celtics. Tolka Rovers and WIT Vikings will also join the league this year.

The Women’s Division One is also experiencing growth, moving from seven teams last year, to a 10-team league this year, including new teams Phoenix Rockets (Ulster), Maree and St Mary’s Castleisland, as well as a second Limerick team – Limerick Celtics – to bring the total number of national league teams (men’s and women’s) in Limerick to five. The Women's Division One will also be played in a conference format. 

"The numerical growth of our National League is very encouraging, as indeed is the geographical spread," Secretary General of Basketball Ireland, Bernard O’Byrne. "However, we also need to be firmly focused on improving and maintaining playing standards, presentation of the games and the need to make all our games family social events. We are heading in the right direction but there is still a lot more to be done."

Fixtures for the divisions will be announced next month.

Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League teams 2018/19

Belfast Star
DCU Saints
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors
Griffith College Swords Thunder
Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin
Maree
Moycullen
Neptune
Pyrobel Killester
Templeogue BC
UCC Demons
UCD Marian
 

Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League teams 2018/19

Ambassador UCC Glanmire
Courtyard Liffey Celtics
DCU Mercy
Fr Mathews
IT Carlow Basketball
Marble City Hawks
Maxol WIT Wildcats
NUIG Mystics
Pyrobel Killester
Singleton SuperValu Brunell
 

Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One teams 2018/19

Northern Conference

Abby Seals Dublin Lions
Eanna
EJ Sligo All Stars
Tolka Rovers
KUBS
LYIT Donegal
Gamefootage.net Titans
Ulster University Elks
 

Southern Conference

Ballincollig
Fr Mathews
IT Carlow Basketball
Limerick Celtics
LIT
Portlaoise Panthers
Scotts Lakers St Paul’s Killarney
UL Eagles
WIT Vikings
 

Women’s Division One teams 2018/19

Northern Conference

Fabplus North West
Trinity Meteors
Phoenix Rockets
Ulster University Elks
Griffith College Swords Thunder
 

Southern Conference

Limerick Celtics
Maree
Portlaoise Panthers
St Mary’s Castleisland
UL Huskies

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