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‘If you’re in the Irish league, it’s for the love of the game’ – Boahen

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Ahead of his home debut for the Lakers, Toronto native Godwin Boahen speaks to Adam Moynihan about moving to Ireland, his goals for the season, and what he’s about to bring to the table.

Godwin, welcome to Killarney. How are you settling in so far? Is it your first time in Ireland?

Yeah, first time. So far, so good. Yes, sir. Yesterday we had that little storm, but it's been good so far.

When did you first arrive?

I've been here for two weeks now.

And what are your first impressions of the town? Have you seen much of it?

Basically, I think I've seen all of it. It's beautiful. Very spacious. And lots of greenery.

Is it much different to where you’re from?

Yeah, definitely. I'm from a city and this is a small town. I remember the first day I coached a couple of kids for the St Paul's U10 team. Later, I went out to get some dinner in town and I saw those same kids with their parents. So it's a very small town!

Can you tell me a bit about where you’re from and your background in basketball?

I grew up in Toronto, Ontario and played with a local team called the YAAACE. We had a really good AAU team and I played with a bunch of players who are in the NBA now: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Thon Maker, Oshae Brissett, Justin Jackson… I always ended up being the smallest one so I was always the point guard.

I ended up going to St Michael's College, which is a private school in Toronto. I left the private school at around 15/16 and went to St Louis Christian Academy (Missouri). That was the year that I kind of garnered a lot of interest. I ended up going to UIC (University of Illinois Chicago), where I actually had an Irish teammate: Jordan Blount. That’s my boy. I had four years at UIC. And then, right after that, COVID took over.

So how did the move to Ireland come about?

It was actually kind of crazy. I signed to go play CBA with the Edmonton Stingers and then I got my first injury of my whole life. I broke my ankle. I realised I might as well make sure I come back more than 100%, and not rush the rehab, because it was actually the best time to get hurt, if you know what I mean. Everything had shut down because of COVID.

I had a bunch of agents hit me up, and a bunch of teams showed interest. But it was like no team was willing to push the button because they didn't know if I could still do what I would have done [without the injury]. My uncle found this camp online that is run by Brad Kanis, and Brad hooked me up with St Paul’s.

You’ve played one game already. What have you made of your new teammates and the setup?

We're young but we have energy and we can use that to our advantage. I know the team is 1-5 but I feel like we could have won against Portlaoise, we just made a couple of mistakes. So based on that one game that I’ve played, I feel like we have a chance in this league. But I also understand that a lot of these players are young, and it's gonna take more than just faith to get it done.

Can you describe yourself as a player? What are you going to bring to the team?

I describe myself as “do whatever”. I’ll do whatever the coach wants me to do. I’ve played at so many different levels, and my game has had to change through all those levels. Coming here, the emphasis is on scoring. Because the team is very young, sometimes they get into droughts or it’s just not going through the hoop, so they need someone who can score. And I can do that. I see myself as someone who makes plays.

What are your personal goals for the season?

I want to win. I want to win this league. I know we’re 1-5 but I think there are 12 games left, and the top four teams go to the playoffs. Once you're in the playoffs, it's free game. My goal is to make it to the playoffs and win this league. I know this is not going to be easy. But it's not 30 games. We have 12 games. Just lock in and focus. We can do it.

And finally, just on a personal level, how happy are you to be here?

I mean, to be honest, I'm just very grateful to be in this position. Especially because of where I was last year after I graduated. If you asked me at the time, I never thought I'd be here. Because right after college, I had a deal, I had somewhere to go. But then the injury happens and then I had nowhere to go. And you're just sitting at home and you're actually thinking, am I gonna be able to play again? Am I even going to get a chance?

So I'm just grateful to be here, doing the thing that I love. I guess the injury and me taking the time away made me realise how much I really love the game. It's not like this league pays you millions of dollars or even pays you at all. Really, if you come to this league, it’s for the love of the game.

I'm excited. I'm happy. I'm grateful to be in this league and in this country. I just can't wait to get started.

National League Division 1

Scotts Lakers v Limerick Sport Eagles

Saturday at 7.30pm

Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre

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Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]

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It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned

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by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.

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