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Adrian Fulton dynasty rolls on with ace CJ

By David Kelly

Published 11/03/2016

Talent: CJ Fulton (second from left) with fellow Ireland under-15 stars Jack Summergill, Conor Cooke and Conor Ryan
Talent: CJ Fulton (second from left) with fellow Ireland under-15 stars Jack Summergill, Conor Cooke and Conor Ryan

Adrian Fulton could be forgiven for thinking that he has seen this story played out before. Talented point guard called Fulton representing Ireland and Star of the Sea.

Adrian captained both Star and Ireland at senior level, while he also wore the green shirt as part of their under-15 side and now it's the turn of 13-year-old son CJ who is following in his footsteps.

The comparisons have naturally been made between father and son - and it is little wonder as CJ's ability has been talked about among the local basketball fraternity for some time now.

Recently the Irish under-15 squad was training at MCB with five of those from Northern Ireland - CJ, Jack Summersgill, Conor Ryan, Conor Cooke and Mark Hayes. The squad has been placed on a two-year programme which will culminate in representing Ireland at the European championships in 2017.

All five Northern Ireland lads will be hoping to impress top American coach Pat Price when the side faces Scotland in May and St Malachy's PE teacher Adrian is naturally hoping that son CJ rises to the occasion.

"I must say I feel very proud to see CJ representing Ireland, doing what I did and he's a year young at 13," said Adrian, whose dad coached Ireland and Star.

"CJ was actually part of the ClubNI football programme three nights a week for a while but this year had to make the choice so he could be part of the Basketball Ireland programme. It's tough trying to keep two sports going if you want to play at a high underage level."

While Adrian is naturally thrilled that his son is in the programme, he did reveal that for every parent it comes at a cost. "To play for Ireland now you have to pay. Over the two years it could easily cost between four and five thousand pounds."

The family affair doesn't just end with the Fultons as Jack Summersgill's talented dad Scotty played for a decade with Star and Connor Ryan's father Ger was also a top All Ireland league player.

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