Can Templeogue BC become national champions for the first time?

They face Swords Thunder at the end of the month in Tallaght

BY Oisin Langan 11:28 Tuesday 12 January 2016, 11:28 12 Jan 2016

Templeogue's Jason Killeen and Conor Grace celebrate after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Between Munster’s collapse, Ulster’s Rockyesque comeback and Manchester United’s bore fest the national basketball cup semi-finals may have got lost in maelstrom of sport last weekend.

One thing is for sure, that at almost seven feet tall Conor Grace will never be lost in a crowd, and yes I’m aware at this stage he’s probably sick of his height being referenced but I’m also sure he doesn’t mind being reminded that his Templeogue side have reached their first ever Cup final.

Former college teammate of NBA superstar Steph Curry - Grace and his fellow stand-out star Jason Killeen were immense as the South Dublin side overcame their northside rivals with a composed final quarter in a 61-59 win Pyrobel Killester. Such are the exploits of Grace and Killeen it’s impossible to fit them all into one article but

Such are the exploits of Grace and Killeen, it’s impossible to fit them all into one article but author of the excellent Irish basketball book "Hanging from the Rafters" Kieran Shannon has written brilliantly about the various European and Asian adventures of Killeen and Grace and the technical aspects that make them great. In fact, Grace’s post match interview is interrupted by one of his teammates shouting the Grace inspired headline from Shannon’s article about him in Saturdays Irish Examiner.

Templeogue coach Mark Keenan. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Templuougue maybe a new club but they boast one of the most experienced rosters including Grace, Killeen and Michael Bonaparte while coach Mark Keenan is the best there is. Troll through the Keiran Shannon back catalogue and you’ll find out that Keenan spurned Dubs GAA stardom for a basketball scholarship in the USA and also that he is the Brian Cody of Irish basketball.   

Despite all they’ve experienced playing in the USA, Italy, Greece and Malaysia it’s fantastic to witness Grace and Killeen take such joy out of helping Templeogue to it’s maiden cup final and we can’t wait for their decider against the talented Swords Thunder at the Arena on Saturday January 30th at 8pm.

To hear from Grace, Killeen and Keenan click on the link bellow and go around three-quarters way in.

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