NBA star to take part in this year's Galway Masters

NBA star to take part in this year's Galway Masters

  • Oct 12,2016

There was some big news out of Galway this week, as it was announced that NBA Star, New York Knicks player, Charles Smith will compete at this year’s Galway Masters Basketball Tournament.

The 6’10’’ American, who hails from Bridgeport, Connecticut played with the famous New York Knicks in the 80’s and 90’s before injuries ended his professional playing career in 1997. Smith also represented the USA national team twice: at the 1986 World Games in Spain (winning gold) and at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul (winning bronze).

Speaking about the news, James Hanley of the Galway Masters Basketball Association stated: “We couldn’t believe our luck when Charles contacted us. He heard about our tournament while playing in Europe and when he found out that it was run in aid of two local charities, he agreed to attend and play for Galway at his own expense!”

Charles Smith is no stranger to charitable work having founded the Charles D. Smith Foundation and Educational Centre in 1989, aimed at keeping inner-city children off the streets and improving their educational prospects.

The two-day International Tournament has become an annual event since its inauguration in 2011 and this year, 33 men’s and ladies teams from Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Croatia, Scotland, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia and the USA will compete to raise money for this year’s nominated charities, the Galway Hospice and Voices for Downs Syndrome Galway.

Masters Basketball is played by men and ladies in two divisions, over 40’s and over 50’s, with equal emphasis on the social as well as the competitive side of basketball.

Speaking about the event, Bernard O’ Byrne, CEO of Basketball Ireland said: “The Galway Masters has quickly grown from a simple idea as a social event into a major event in the basketball calendar. It still has a great social side to it but it crucially serves the sport by bringing people back in touch with the game and each other. I wish it continuing success.’

As part of this year’s tournament, which is supported by Galway City Council’s Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative, the Galway Masters is running a free basketball camp for boys and girls aged 10-14 years. The Head Coach will be NBA player Charles Smith supported by the Head Coach of the NUIG Super League ladies team and Galway Masters Chairperson, Mike Murray. The event will take place on Thursday 3rd November at the NUIG Kingfisher at 6pm, and Charles will also be on hand to sign autographs after the session.

The two-day tournament will begin at 9am on Saturday, November 5th at NUIG Kingfisher and admission is free.


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