Athlone resident, Tim McCarthy, is one of four former players who will be inducted into the Basketball Ireland Hall of Fame in the class of 2023 during a ceremony to be hosted later this calendar year.
In a statement issued by Basketball Ireland this week, the Cork City native was hailed for his dedication to the game, with due reference to both his basketball playing and coaching careers.
‘Tim has touched every area of Irish basketball, playing, coaching, broadcasting and promoting the game since the 1970s. A centurion on the court, McCarthy captained his country on 58 occasions during that stretch, before retiring at the age of 29 after capturing National League and ‘Player of The Year’ honours for a third time.
‘His coaching career was equally prestigious, but McCarthy has become known among younger generations for his amazing skills behind a microphone. ‘From way downtown’ is a phrase that transcended Irish sport during his National Cup finals and Olympic basketball coverage on RTÉ,’ the Basketball Ireland statement detailed.
After playing with Iona and GH74 at juvenile level, McCarthy would blossom into one of the outstanding Irish players of the 1980s, where he was noted for his basketball smarts and scoring ability, McCarthy would play 103 times for the senior national team (including 58 times as its captain ), and despite sustaining a career-threatening leg injury in 1985, with Blue Demons of Cork he’d win three leagues (1980, 1984 and 1989 ), three National Championships, a National Cup and in 1983 he captained the team to a historical Federation Cup victory, a highly-prestigious competition at the time featuring teams from England, Wales and Scotland.
Then, after surprisingly retiring at the peak of his powers at the age of 29 (that same 1988-89 season he’d won the Irish Player of the Year, the National League and captained Ireland to a Promotions Cup final ), he turned his attention to coaching where he again excelled.
In 1993 he helped Demons win the Roy Curtis international tournament. In 1995-96 he would mastermind the first-ever top-flight title won by a Tralee team, inspiring the Tigers to a Superleague title. The following season he led Blue Demons to a memorable U19 National Cup final win over a highly-talented Killester team; that triumph would provide Demons with the platform and nucleus of a side that would not just return the club to the Superleague but make such an impact in it throughout the new millennium.
In 1998 he was head coach of the first Irish U16 girls’ team to compete at the European championships level in over a decade. Then in 2001 he was head coach to the senior men’s team in the European championship qualifiers.
Tim continued to coach throughout the years. Based in the Athlone for over 20 years now, he coached Kiltoom to a 2003 Community Games U16s title and Marist College to an U19 All Ireland boys school league title in 2006. However, over the past couple of decades he has become best known for his media work.