Today we talk about an Irish basketball international. Edel Thornton has begun playing basketball since she was around seven years old. She knows that hard work pays off, and that’s the reason why she made it to the national team of Ireland! Photo: Fiba Europe
1. Let’s introduce yourself, who are you?
“My name is Edel Thornton, I am from Ireland and the co-captain of the national basketball team of Ireland. The basketball team I am currently playing with is Brunell Cork in the Ireland-Super League.”
2. How did you start playing basketball?
“My friends actually ‘dragged’ me to the gym. One of her older sister plays basketball as well, so when I was in her house they were going and made me go with her. I think I started playing basketball when I was around seven years old.”
3. Did some of your family played basketball as well?
“Yes, both of my parents did, and also one of my brothers.”
4. Your brother played basketball as well. How different was his style of playing basketball compared with yours?
“He is taller than me, so he was more a post player.”
5. What kind of player are you?
“My main position is the point guard position. Nevertheless, I can play on many different positions, wherever they need someone.”
6. Are you a scoring guard or a guard with leadership?
“I think I am more of a guard with leadership than scoring. When I went to America, I became more a leader, while I used to be more like a scoring guard when I was younger. I try to find the balance between those components. You can create opportunities for others.”
Photo: Fiba Europe
7. Is there someone who inspires you?
“When I was young, there were a few role models. Two of them are Irish: Lindsay Peat and Orla O'Reilly. Lindsay used to be a basketball player, and has become a rugby player. She was a member of the Dublin team that won the All-Ireland title in 2010 and she scored two goals in the 2014 final. Orla has played basketball in many different countries. The other one is Rachael Vanderwal, a Canadian basketball player and the ambassador of Women's Sports Alliance.”
8. Where have you played basketball so far?
“In Ireland I only played in Dublin and Cork, for many different teams over there. Later on I went to America.”
9. How was it for you to play basketball in Dublin?
“Pretty different, like a different atmosphere than I was used to. It was in the same league, just another team, and I really enjoyed at!”
10. You went to the United States in 2015. How was it for you to play somewhere outside of Ireland?
“Looking back at it now, I loved it! At the beginning I found it very though. Everyone runs their line, and everything was very organized, even an easy fast break. If you couldn’t figure out your role, someone else would do it. Everyone was really good!”
11. Why did you choose for Quinnipiac University?
“Once I got there, I felt so comfortable with everyone. The scholarship offered you the same, so my choice would be which school would fit perfect for me.”
12. You played there for four years. During your last year you doubled your average of points and rebounds. How were you able to improve yourself like that?
“I wouldn’t say that I was quite unsure at the beginning, I just got very familiar with the plays and the system. That’s the reason I could shine some more and show everyone what I can.”
13. You played in 2014 for the under 18 team of Ireland, where you had an average of 16 points per game. What can you say about your time at the under 18 team?
“We lost all of our poule games. I never experienced that many losses in a row before. What I will never forget is that we played some pre-games against Luxembourg which we lost, but during the European Championship we beat them. That felt really amazing!”
14. You are playing for the national team since you were 21 years old. How was it for you to wear ‘Ireland’ on your chest?
“Brilliant! I never thought I would actually do it, but it is a dream that came true! Playing for your country is a big honor, and it is another level of playing basketball. It is a very special feeling. It would be great if we could win a couple of the qualifying games of Eurobasket, just to show everyone what kind of talent we also have.”
Photo: Fiba Europe