Teen sensation Fulton rapidly becoming key player for Star
At the start of their All Ireland Superleague season 16-year-old CJ Fulton was only meant to be a bit-part player for Belfast Star but after six games he has emerged as critical to their success.
The gifted teenager has even surprised dad and Star head coach Adrian with the manner in which he has adapted from schoolboy level to the Superleague.
On Saturday night he contributed 20 points and a composed performance beyond his years before returning to the La Salle College court for another sublime display as Star completed a Cup and League double over Neptune.
The Cork side did their best to exert pressure on point guard Fulton on Saturday night in the Cup clash but he picked off baskets like cherries from a tree. Star moved into the quarter-finals with a 92-78 win and then yesterday went top of the Superleague after 93-67 victory over Neptune.
"We have a very good bunch of under-18 players of which CJ is one and we do want to integrate them into the Superleague but I have to say that Christopher has developed quicker than even I thought he would at this level," said Adrian, who is naturally reticent about overly praising his son.
"The word is getting around the league about his performances and I thought he was very good on Saturday night and gave another good performance in the second game. He is playing a lot of basketball at the moment and it's about making sure that we manage him properly.
"I have to say that the whole team is making sure that we as coaches have a headache now because it's no longer easy to get into the team and to get game time.
"I know it's almost impossible to keep everyone happy but the guys know that we are making decisions for what is best for the club."
American Mike Davis did not have his best game against Neptune on Saturday night but raised his level yesterday to top score with 31 as he tortured the Cork men with his high energy that typifies the buzz not only emanating from the players but also the supporters.
Fulton added: "We had great contributions from off the bench from Liam Pettigrew, Conor Johnston and Matt Jackson, which just demonstrated the depth in the squad and that's what you need to be a top team."