Mike Brey welcomed Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin to campus today as the two transfers began summer school classes.

Men's Basketball Headed To Ireland For Inaugural Emerald Hoops Program

Jan. 10, 2008

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team will travel to Ireland to participate in the inaugural Emerald Hoops Program. The Irish will be in Ireland from August 13-August 25 and are expected to play in the 2008 tournament against senior International teams from Ireland and Poland. In addition, the coaching staff and team are expected to participate in a series of coaching clinics throughout the country.

Notre Dame has been selected as the first NCAA Division I team to participate in the event.

The Basketball Federation of Ireland, known as Basketball Ireland, has developed the Emerald Hoops Program. The program, initially a five-year venture, has been established to help build relationships between the basketball communities in America and Ireland and involves a wide range of initiatives and events that will create opportunities for many involved in the sport to gain memorable sporting and cultural experiences. A challenging set of goals and initiatives and initiatives have been established to help grow and establish all facets of the sport of basketball in Ireland.

“We are absolutely delighted to have such a high caliber college basketball team coming to our event, and what better way to launch our exciting venture for Irish sports than by having the Fighting Irish to Ireland” remarks Karl Donnelly, marketing director for Basketball Ireland.

Adds Tony Colgan, president of Basketball Ireland, “We will provide a highly- competitive tournament with excellent practice facilities for the teams, while also providing a truly memorable cultural and educational experience for all participants”

“The Fighting Irish in Ireland is just natural,” says Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. “This is going to be a truly unique experience for our coaching staff, administration, fans, and especially, our players. I’ve been impressed with everyone I’ve had contact with about the event. We’re truly honored that Notre Dame has been selected as the first collegiate team to participate in this event.”

The Emerald Hoops Program has partnered with Anthony Travel to offer a range of travel options for fans wishing to attend the Tournament. The packages include options to see some of the most beautiful sights in Irish while sampling the unique Irish hospitality.

“I have no doubt that the Emerald Hoops Program will provide a unique experience for athletes, coaching staff and alumni both as a sporting event and an opportunity to enjoy, at first hand, our Irish culture, heritage and hospitality,” says Seamus Brennan, Ireland’s Minister of Arts, Sport and Tourism.

“We are honored to be selected as the travel partner for Emerald Hoops,” says John Anthony, president and CEO of Anthony Travel. “We will use our experience in Ireland and as the Official Travel Partner for Notre Dame to execute and deliver a memorable trip for Fighting Irish fans. Anthony Travel looks forward to cultivating and maintaining relationships with the Irish and American basketball communities.”

Emerald Hoops Program Goals
The Emerald Hoops program will build on existing relationships and activities to provide a structured program whose goals are:

  • To develop sporting, educational and cultural relationships between the basketball communities in Ireland and America.
  • To provide American basketball players with opportunities to partake in unique Irish experiences in terms of hospitality, culture, history and sport.
  • To provide the Irish basketball community with opportunities to experience, at first hand, the exuberance, athleticism and skills associated with American basketball.
  • To develop a range of activities that foster the development of relationships between all sectors of the basketball communities in Ireland and America.
  • To encourage the youth of Ireland to deliver on their full potential through participation in the growth and development of basketball in Ireland.

— ND —