JOHN Endersen’s time with Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí is coming to end – but his legacy is assured.
The Bantry teenager (18) was one of the standout players – and the top scorer – on the team that won the U19C All-Ireland Schools’ League basketball title last month, the first time the Bantry school won an All-Ireland basketball title.
His role in this triumph will never be forgotten, his name etched in the history of the school, and to add to an unforgettable basketball campaign, Endersen was honoured with the Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star of the Month Award for March last week.
‘It’s great to leave a small bit of a legacy, that your name will be known as an All-Ireland winner with the school,’ the Leaving Cert student said, reflecting on what their All-Ireland success means to Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí.
‘It’s great for basketball in the school, and for sport in general.
‘This is something for kids to look up to and to strive towards. Bantry basketball is on the rise and it’s great to set benchmarks for the young boys and girls coming up.
‘When the girls’ team from the school reached an All-Ireland final in 2015 that set a benchmark for other teams to follow, like us, and now we’ve set a mark for other teams to work towards.’
The celebrations that followed the school’s 39-32 win against O’Carolan College Nobber from Meath at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght will stay with Endersen forever, long after he stops walking the school’s corridors and as life takes him on a new path.
Memories of the entire school packed into the school hall the day after the All-Ireland win, everyone there to hail the new heroes, that was a great feeling, and while himself and Matthew Barry – the only two Leaving Cert students on Pat Curran’s team – won’t be there next year, Endersen has backed the team to make an impact at senior B.
‘That will be an ideal level for the lads to showcase just how good they are. They will be well capable of doing very well in senior B and going far. Myself and Matthew will be missing but there is a lot of talent on the team and they’ll push on again next year,’ he said.
Endersen is not finished himself just yet. There’s more silverware to play for this season – with Bantry Basketball Club and Bantry Bay Golf Club where he is the juvenile captain.
‘We are just finishing off the basketball season with the club. We are in the top four play-offs with the U18s and I play with the men’s team as well, and we’re in the top four there as well,’ he explained, and after that the golf will take over.
‘There’s another great young team there with the likes of Mel Deasy on the Irish U15 panel, Darragh O’Sullivan Connell, Billy Foley and Sean Deasy. Last year we were close enough to winning an All-Ireland in the golf, we got to a Munster semi-final and we lost to the eventual All-Ireland winners.
‘We have the same team again this year so I’ll try to push for another All-Ireland in that too.’
Endersen, who plays off five, and Co qualified out of the first round of the Irish Junior Foursomes recently, they have the Fred Daly in less than two weeks, and then, after his Leaving Cert, a busy summer of golf awaits.
By then his time at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí will have come to an end, his Leaving Cert exams completed, but his legacy will remain, a star player on a history-making basketball team that went all the way to the top, and now he has an award to add to his collection.