Haven basketball takes on Ireland

Boys basketball coach Kevin Haney accepts the opportunity to take a few of his players to Ireland this spring.

Elise Molloy '24, Contributor

Members of the Haven Boys Basketball Team competed in a friendly game against a top team in Ireland this fall, giving them a sense of what they will be facing when they fly there this spring. 

Coach Kevin Haney, senior Jack Edwards, and another unconfirmed member of the team will combine with other schools in Delco to travel overseas and compete in a series of tournament style games against teams from all over Ireland.

Haney is a member of an Irish society called the Ancient Order of Hibernians, or the AOH. The AOH has been running this program for a few years now, as well as working with Lafayette College to train Irish players who flew in to play somewhere in the United States. 

“So they were looking for coaches that could coach here with United States kids, kids from the US, and against them [The Irish Players],” Haney said.

The game against Ireland in September was a chance for players and coaches to get an idea of what is to come.

“It was a cool experience,” Edwards said. “The kids had a lot of skill. They can shoot the ball and it was a fun experience playing against Ireland.”

Edwards is excited to play them again and has been looking forward to the trip since Haney messaged him about it at the beginning of the school year. 

“I’m just really looking forward to a really unique experience with a great coach and especially a great coaching staff,” he said. “Playing alongside great teammates. I’m excited to learn new things there.”

The details of the trip are still being finalized, however, the players and coaches are already planning for it.  

“It’s going to be a combo of the same experience they had here in the states which is, you know, basketball, culture, food, history, just all of it,” Haney said. “And it looks like, right now tentatively, the trip is scheduled for spring break, and I just can’t wait to see what my dad always called the old country.” 

This experience is going to be particularly special for Haney, as he has always hoped he would get to travel to his father’s homeland.

“I think for me personally, it’s about connecting to my roots,” he said. “Just to feel connected to everything my father ever talked about. And my father is not with us anymore so it’s extra special emotionally to feel that sense of home that he always talked about. I think you know, outside of the game itself. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”