The Ireland senior women’s and men’s teams have both officially been entered in their respective FIBA Eurobasket competitions today, after the qualifying draws were made live on the FIBA YouTube channel recently. The Ireland senior women’s team have been entered into the FIBA Women’s Eurobasket 2023 Qualifiers, where they will face Belarus, Czech Republic and the Netherlands in Group I. There are 10 groups in total in these qualifiers, with the 10 group winners and the four best second-placed teams advancing to the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2023.
Speaking on the announcement that Ireland would enter the qualifiers was Dr Tim Rice, EPC Chairperson. “There is a lot of excitement regarding the EuroBasket draw. This is a big step for Irish basketball overall – to be on the cusp of competing at the highest level of basketball in Europe is something that has been a long time in the works. So many leaders in the game, players and coaches throughout the country have worked hard to get us to this point. Looking forward to seeing us test our mettle and to have the opportunity to show what we’re capable of at a high level”.
Following the FIBA Women’s Eurobasket 2023 Qualifiers draw, the Ireland senior men’s team were drawn in the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers. The Ireland senior men’s team will go up against Switzerland, Austria and Cyprus in Group A, while Group B and Group C consist of just three teams each. Four teams – the three group winners and the best-ranked second-placed team – will qualify from this for the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers Second Round.
Basketball Ireland chairman, Paul McDevitt, welcomed this next step for Irish basketball. “This is the natural progression for this team following their brilliant performance at the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries this year. It is a big financial commitment for us to progress both of our senior international teams simultaneously, but this is a step we must take if we want to continue to grow our sport. We want to assure our members that this activity will not negatively impact other areas of our sport, and we will be setting up a group that will work to ensure this. It’s a very exciting time for us all, to witness this next stage in Irish basketball”.
Paul McDevitt also spoke on the quick nature of this decision following the recent championship. “Had this team not been entered into these pre-qualifiers, they would not have been eligible to enter again until the Eurobasket 2029 qualifying rounds, and the board believe this to be too long a wait for such a promising team. It was a short window of decision for us following the small countries championship, but following deliberation we believe we are putting our strongest foot forward”.