Belfast Telegraph

Tigers in fitting tribute to gentle giant Torraine

By David Kelly

Torraine Sears will always be remembered as a man who contributed greatly to Ulster basketball and this weekend a Memorial tournament is being run in his memory - a year on from his passing at the age off 44.

The American coached at the Tigers in Andersonstown having previously worked with Star of the Sea, a team he also played for with distinction.

John Kennedy, a coach at the Tigers, believes the under-12 event, which has attracted teams from Cork, Sligo, Dublin and Manchester is a fitting tribute to the gentle giant, whose son Tory will be representing the BasketballNI side over the next three days.

Kennedy said: "From a coaching point of view Torraine was terrific. He brought so much passion, he spent so much time working with the boys, developing their skills and encouraging them.

"They hung on his every word. He had great knowledge and was able to get his message across in a great way without every getting frustrated - and that's not always easy with 12-year-olds!"

Star of the Sea chairman Bill McCotter was also equally full of praise for Torraine, who regularly attended the club's All Ireland Premier League games and coached their women's team.

"Torraine was highly respected throughout the sport in Ulster," said McCotter.

"He had a great knowledge of basketball and at many different levels he contributed greatly to the sport - even helping my sons Brian and Neal develop."

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