Crosshaven Basketball Club was founded in 1969. At that time, Coláiste Muire Secondary School in Crosshaven had become coeducational with an intake of 18 boys. As the numbers were too low to sustain teams in more traditional sports, basketball was decided on as an appropriate sport to cater for the new students.
The first problem was that there was no basketball court. In fact, there was very little information on what a court looked like. The existing netball court was converted. This caused problems as a netball is little more than half the diameter of a basketball and the netball ring is accordingly small. A soccer ball was used as it was must cheaper and a better fit.
At any rate, the then Principal, Sr. Margaret Mary came to the assistance of the club and two fine outdoor courts were installed. The first games played on the courts were against St. Declan’s and Rochestown College, who were, at the time, the kingpins of College’s basketball. The first baskets scored by a Crosshaven team was by Jim Hoey who threw up two shots that were described at the time as “Holy Mary” shots in a 58-4 defeat by Rochestown. In the second game, the Crosshaven side went on to defeat St. Declan’s by a single point in a pulsating finish.
The next problem was to find a coach who knew the rules and basics of basketball. Progress continued to be slow. One day, during the construction of the new school building in Coláiste Muire, Mick Barry, who was working on the roof, observed the Crosshaven boys training. Mick had played basketball for Iona in Cork city for a number of years and agreed to take the boys under his wing. He quickly transformed the team and built them into one of the finest underage sides of that era.
The club and school teams went on to compete to a high level throughout the 1970s. Girls’ and Ladies teams were established. In the 1980s, the club went from strength to strength, winning the Cork Division 2 Men’s Title and entering the National League. Crosshaven brought their first American player, Joe McGuinness in 1983 who brought energy and enthusiasm to the village. Crosshaven competed in the National League for three seasons.
Since then, the club and won a number of underage titles and Coláiste Muire has won many schools’ championships. Coláiste Muire teams have won three All-Ireland titles in the past 20 years.