Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane says head injuries need to be taken seriously.

It follows the news that Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius suffered concussion during the Champions League final.


The German was a fault for two goals during the Reds 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, but he had been injured in a collision with Sergio Ramos.

Kilbane says incidents like this cannot be ignored

RUGBY

Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek says they are facing a tough decision over who should replace the injured Rory Best.

The Irish squad have been training ahead of Saturday’s opening test against the Wallabies in Brisbane, but Best misses the three test series due to a hamstring problem.

Sean Cronin is tipped to deputise at Hooker, but Feek says Niall Scannell and Rob Herring are also pushing for the number two shirt.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic can reach his 32nd Grand Slam semi final at the French Open today.

The 2016 Champion takes on the unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato in the last-eight at Roland Garros this afternoon.

Alexander Zverev makes his first appearance in the quarter finals of a major tournament.

The second seed plays Dominic Thiem, who has made the last 4 in Paris in the last two years.

Zverev is heading into the match after three successive five set battles, but is not worried about fatigue.

World number 98 Yulia Putintseva meets Madison Keys in the Women’s single quarter finals.

U-S Open champion Sloane Stephens takes on Daria Kasatkina, who beat Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.

BASKETBALL

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Basketball Ireland today announced the launch of the Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland League for boys and girls ages 11-12.

The league will feature 10 Irish clubs who will each partner with three local primary schools to create 30 teams. Each of the 30 teams will represent an NBA team and will receive corresponding NBA team-branded uniforms for their games.

The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.

During the 2017-18 season, the Jr. NBA will reach more than 26 million youth in 71 countries through a variety of camps, clinics, skills challenges, league play and outreach events.

“We are delighted to partner with Basketball Ireland on the first Jr. NBA league in the country,” said NBA Associate Vice President of Basketball Operations, Europe and Middle East, Neal Meyer. “The Jr. NBA provides a platform for boys and girls in Ireland to learn about the game and the values it teaches including teamwork, respect, determination, and community.”

“We are so excited to run the first-ever Jr. NBA league in Ireland,” said Head of Development for Basketball Ireland, Jason Killeen. “The Jr. NBA is set to bring great excitement to children around Ireland as it allows them to gain experience in the sport of basketball in a fun learning environment.”

Partnering with some of the top Irish clubs from around the country, the league will run from October to December, culminating in a festival of basketball at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght in December.

Leveraging the excitement of the NBA, the league will also promote the Jr. NBA values of teamwork, respect, determination, and community through competitive league play, Jr. NBA Draft and Finals events and Jr. NBA youth clinics.