For the first time in their history the University of Ulster Elks basketball team have won the Ulster Premier League.
The Ulster side took the title after an impressive season saw them notch up 14 wins and just two losses.
The Elks, fielding Superleague personnel Andy O'Hare, Damien Gallagher, Connor O Dornan and Conor Lilly, as well as veteran Elks players Gareth Maguire and player/coach Gary Connolly, showed the value of the basketball focus sport development programme at the University of Ulster.
Coach Gary Connolly attributed the great success, which has led to the Elks domination of the Premier League, to the investment in basketball development in recent years.
He said: “Since the club has moved into the Irish Superleague we have seen very significant developments at local level. The experience that some of our players gain on the Superleague stage has infiltrated our Ulster premiere league programme and has taken it to a new level. Three years ago we were not competitive enough in this league and now we have won it for the first time in our history as a University club. This is a magnificent achievement.”
Dr Deirdre Brennan, coach of the Elks Superleague team, added: “The club has come along way in the last three years. We have had our best Superleague season to date and now we have taken home some more silverware by being crowned Ulster League Champions. It feels good to see the University investment and indeed the hard work put in by players, coaches and committee members pay off.”
The Ulster Elks’ season is still not over with more chances of silverware around the corner as the league champions meet North Star Basketball Club from Derry in the semi-final of the Ulster Cup on Easter weekend.
Following this, the Jordanstown basketball team will then head west to defend their Irish intervarsity title in NUI Galway on the weekend of 9-11 April.