Maura Fitzpatrick is set to make her debut for Ireland in tonight’s FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2023 Qualifier against the Netherlands, which tips off at 5.30 pm Irish time. The Connecticut-born player lines up for Ireland thanks to her Sligo roots.

Speaking from Amsterdam, the Gloucester City Queens player says she’s relishing the chance to pull on the green jersey. “I’m super excited, I think it’s a great opportunity, it’s my first time playing with Ireland and representing them. I think it is a huge honour and I’m super excited.”

Ireland are competing against Europe’s elite for the first time since 2009 and this will be the first FIBA EuroBasket qualifier since 2003.

Fitzpatrick is eager for the team to showcase what they can do. “It’s incredible for Ireland to be on the (FIBA Women’s EuroBasket) stage again and then also individually it’s the top of the top. It’s going to be a good to really push yourself and see how we do as a team and individually as well.”

Fitzpatrick joined up with the squad last weekend, training with her new teammates at the National Basketball Arena on Monday and Tuesday, before flying out to the Dutch capital on Wednesday morning.

Despite the short turnaround, she feels she’s settled in quickly. “I think it’s been great, all the girls are super nice. I have just practised a few days, but I can see already how everyone plays together, it’s up-tempo, fast-paced and everyone is very unselfish, it’s easy to transition with them and play along with them.

Tonight’s game can be watched on FIBA’s YouTube channel via the homepage here.

Ireland’s game with the Czech Republic on Sunday has a limited number of tickets available to wlaive t the Arena and it will also be shown on TG4 from 4.50 pm.


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