Aquinas Grammar Schools’ basketball teams returned from their ten day Florida tour last week.

This was the third school tour to the USA following two very successful previous trips in 2005 and 2010.

Twenty seven players made the trip under the auspices of PE teacher and basketball coach Joe McAufield who has established a real basketball culture in the Ravenhill Road school over the last decade.  The boys competed well against some excellent opposition with Joe Shields, Aidan O’Kelly, Eoin Nagle , Pearse Fitzsimons and Matthew Leggett outstanding in some games.

‘The players have come back a lot sharper owing to the high intensity they were training and playing at.  In the first session back on Monday in school, I could see the difference and it’s hard to keep the boys out of the gym in the morning time and after school’.

As well as the twelve competitive games, the boys had a two day intensive camp and attended the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets NBA game.  One of the highlights of the tour was attending class for a day in a prestigious Floridian High school.

The tour provided great preparation for the teams as the Ulster school leagues commence next week.