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About Basketball NI

Basketball NI was originally established in 1955 as the Ulster Basketball Association playing within the Irish Basketball Association. Basketball NI exist to promote and deliver the sport of basketball and physical recreation, which results in improved physical and mental health in Northern Ireland. 

Basketball NI is a voluntary run National Governing Body of Basketball whose membership consists of 20 Club Members who work to grow the sport of basketball.

We are the recognised governing body in Northern Ireland working under the umbrella of the FIBA recognised National Federation of Basketball Ireland.

Our membership encompasses clubs and organisations from across Northern Ireland and boarder counties. 

  • Club List  – BC Wolves, Belfast Star, Belfast Phoenix, Tyrone Towers, North Star Warriors, Hazelwood Hawks, Newry Fliers, UU Tigers, Pontzypass Pumas, Omagh Thunder, Tyrone Towers, Drogheda Wolves, Letterkenny Blaze, Queens Basketball Club, Larne YMCA, Antrim Jets, Bangor Warriors, Ballymena and Mourne Academy.  
  • Friends of BNI –  The Courtside Collective, Sport Changes Life Foundation, Evolution Basketball, Peace Players, NI Cleveland Foundation, Belfast Bulls Basketball, NI 3×3 Community. 
  • Team NI  – Team NI Elite Performance Academy structure for Juniors and  Team NI FIBA 3×3 for Senior Men’s and Women’s.

Basketball NI is a member of the Northern Ireland Sport Forum, working with over 70 member NGB’s and organisations drawn from right across the sporting sector. 

Our Mission

Basketball NI aims to grow the game in all its forms, support a passionate basketball community and provide a pathway for every person to have a positive life-long relationship with our sport.

A bit of history…

The Belfast Celtics, named after the Boston Celtics, were an off shoot of a very successful college team at St Malachy’s which had won a few schools All Ireland Championships.  Although the Celtics played competitively they quickly realized they were not good enough to compete for the All Ireland Championship. As a result of an intensive recruiting campaign they significantly improved their club in both skill and size. Success quickly followed with four consecutive All Ireland Club Championships during the 60’s. At one stage  Ireland’s national team included eight Celtics team members.

1961 All Ireland Championship – Runners Up

From 1961 – 1962 thru 1964 – 1965 the Celtics represented Ireland in the European Club Championships as the  Irish Champions.

Despite their success on the court the teams uniforms and gear did not reflect the same stature. So at some point in time the Belfast club  solicited assistance from the perennial NBA Champion Boston Celtics. The Boston organization responded delivering the uniforms and gear as would be expected from the best team in the world at that time. The 1963 Belfast Celtics went down in history as they went toe to toe in the FIBA European Cup vs Real Madrid match watched by more than eight thousand fans in the Kings Hall venue in Belfast.