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'One of the most talented' Irish basketball players signs to play for Trinity next season

Published: May 15th, 2019

Trinity Sport are delighted to announce that NCAA Division 1 basketballer Edel Thornton will be playing for the college from September 2019.

Edel joins Trinity – where she will be a postgraduate student of psychology – from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, USA, where she studied Psychology and Sociology.

Quinnipiac recently won their conference title, where Edel scored 16 points with 5 assists in the final. She has also been named as ‘one of the most talented Irish basketball players of her generation’. 

When did you start playing basketball?
I started playing basketball when I was in first class, so around seven or eight years old. I began my career with Brunell basketball club located in Gurranabraher, Cork city.

What first attracted you to the sport?
One of my older brothers, Frank, played and I would go to a lot of his games with my parents. I loved bounding the ball around and watching my big brother play but I actually didn’t want to go to my first practice at all! It was Jamie Milner, my best friend from school at the time, who dragged me to try it out.

How did you end up going to college in America?
It was always a dream of mine to play in America since I started out. It began to look realistic when I made my first Irish team and I started to get better as a player. Following a trip to the USA with my dad we decided that Quinnipiac suited me best.

Tell us a bit about your time in America, where you’ve been studying as an undergraduate.
 I have had some of the best experiences of my life while being here, both on and off the court. I have travelled to a lot of places across the United States and I have played against some of the most successful players in college basketball.
One of the biggest moments on the court was playing against UConn in 2018 and another is playing in the Sweet Sixteen against A’ja Wilson in 2017.

What has your time in America taught you?
My time here has taught me a lot, especially about myself. I have learned how to push myself to an extent I never thought I could physically, mentally and educationally.
Personally, the most important thing I have learned is that some of the most amazing things in your life happen when you’re outside of your comfort zone.

Why did you decide to come to Trinity?
I had been looking at different psychology courses between Ireland and the UK but with Brexit I decided staying at home would be best. Trinity’s Applied Behaviour Analysis course was my dream choice and so the chance to study this at Trinity and play basketball at the same time was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
Are there any plans to play basketball for Ireland again?
Yes 100% - there is no better feeling than putting on that green jersey. I’ve put my name down for the senior squad that starts off this summer with James Weldon as head coach. I’ve been in contact with James already about the programme and I will definitely be working with my coaches here in the US until I leave for home to give myself the best opportunity to make the squad.