A Young Man on an International Basketball Journey – Connor Tierney
This week our player feature is on Connor Tierney from Brighton, Sussex, who attended our Russell Hoops tour to Tres Cantos, Madrid in July 2016.
15-year old Connor is a 7’0 forward and a former member of the Sussex Bears club, who will be suiting up for Sacred Heart High School in Connecticut, USA this season. He was inspired by his visit to Madrid after having the opportunity to experience high-level European coaching, see top young players compete and even have the chance to watch an international men’s game between Venezuela and Spain.
At such a young age Connor already has a unique skill-set rare in a player of his height – he can shoot the ball from mid-range and beyond, as well as possessing the footwork and strength to finish around the rim and put back missed shots. The coaches at Sussex Bears have worked closely with him to develop the intangible parts of his game that will help separate him from other young players he matches up against. On his trip to Spain he was able to learn from Spanish players, who are known across the world as having some of the best and most well-drilled footwork. He also spent time with British professional player Zak Wells, one of the coaches on the tour, who put him through an individual workout and gave him advice on how best to use his frame to create space around the key.
One of the most incredible aspects of our tours is the camaraderie it builds amongst players, and Connor was delighted to strengthen bonds with his teammates and peers. The group are encouraged to work together to deal with adverse situations on the court, as well as taking responsibility for themselves off the court; being accountable for getting themselves up and ready in the morning, choosing the right options at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and ensuring they get enough sleep to tackle the intense daily schedule.
After spending time with Connor and seeing first-hand how well he conducts himself, we are very optimistic at how his USA basketball career will pan out. He already has international experiences under his belt, which have helped guide him into understanding what it takes to become an elite player on the court and a mentally strong individual off it. We wish Connor the best of luck in the USA!