Bringing the first NCAA tournament to Europe - with Marc Mulholland - Ep. 91 -

Bringing the first NCAA tournament to Europe – with Marc Mulholland – Ep. 91

For Episode 91 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with Belfast-based Marc Mulholland, the Executive Director & Creative Producer of the Belfast Basketball Classic with Inspirus Sports.

Mulholland is a former Irish junior international, and plays a huge role in the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic – the first NCAA tournament to take place in Europe with the Sport Changes Life Foundation and partner NCAA MAAC Conference and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

He has been embedded in the Irish basketball community for years starting in historic St Gall’s Basketball Club in West Belfast, a time at Lisburn Scorpions and Andersonstown Tigers. Having done extensive coaching from development to Team NI Academy level, is now a Basketball Northern Ireland & NI Sport Forum Board Member, and is currently on FIBA’s Timeout 2.0 programme, which helps players & former players make the transition into the next phase of their career.

With a background in film and media, he released ‘House of Hopla’, a SCRAM Films documentary about legendary NBA shooting coach Dave Hopla. A story about Belfast , Basketball and Brotherhood in 2019.


00:00 Intro
02:41 Interview start
03:02 Impact of COVID on basketball in Northern Ireland
07:43 How Northern Ireland fits into the British basketball governing body structure
11:15 Players in Northern Ireland are able to choose whether to represent Ireland or GB
14:28 Basketball culture in Ireland
22:50 Whether young players in Ireland are looking to England/Scotland/Wales (incorrectly labelled the ‘mainland’ by me!) or players more local
27:01 The ideation phase of the Belfast Classic and how it came to be
40:57 How to finance an event with a budget in the millions
53:32 Raising sponsorship requires persistence and patience
59:56 British basketball needs to think bigger
1:01:12 What’s in the future for the Belfast Classic
1:06:53 House of Hopla – Marc’s documentary about Dave Hopla
1:15:52 Distribution options for documentary releases
1:21:13 FIBA Timeout Program
1:30:07 Potential for a BBL franchise in Belfast
1:32:58 Marc’s aspirations for the next 3-5 years

The show has been approved on iTunes – find it here and please subscribe to automatically receive new episodes straight to your phone/computer/tablet – if you could give us a review/rating it would be much appreciated to help the podcast spread far and wide, meanwhile it is also on Spotify here, Overcast, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.

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