American college basketball teams to play in Ireland

The Mayor of Belfast, Northern Ireland, came to Springfield Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield is stretching its footprint across the Atlantic Ocean. The Mayor of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Brian Kingston came to Springfield on Thursday to support this cultural exchange.

The Hall of Fame will send Holy Cross and other American college basketball teams to Belfast for a series of games later this year.

Mayor Kingston said, “I suppose it’s a testament to the game of basketball as a sport, and I’ve been hearing today, it’s the fast growing sport in the world.”

John Doleva, the Presidentand CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, told 22News, “This game as we know it originated in Springfield, and quickly, very quickly went around the globe and ended up in Ireland in the 1930’s and 1940’s.”

Holy Cross and the other teams will compete in December at the largest sports arena in Belfast. Their visit was arranged with the Hall of Fame by an Irish foundation called “Sport Changes Life”