Although the past year has been one of the roughest in sporting and fitness history, Dublin 11-based North Atlantic Basketball Academy has set its sight onwards and outward –developing programs for the community and beyond.
Founded in 2014 as a sole-standing basketball academy, NAB Academy Ltd is a multi-national company dedicated to sports and educational advancement for players at all skillsets, though it’s true success has been preparing some of Ireland’s finest players for university and pre-professional athletic careers.
In addition to developing the player consultation and recruitment line of business in Players1st sports management, which is directly responsible for sending over 100 student/athletes on scholarships to the USA and another 15 players info professional contracts in Europe.
Managing director Dermot Russell founded NAB Academy as a response to the lack of complete training programmes for athletes. “Sports is about more than just learning to play the game,” Russell states. “It’s about physical and mental strength, you don’t just play with your body. The best players of any sports aren’t just the strongest and most skillful, they are also the mentally toughest and have developed the best aptitude for their chosen sport
It is this devotion to the holistic development of mind and body which has led to NAB Academy to expand its holdings over the year. In addition to developing the comprehensive player consultation and recruitment line of business in Players1st sports management, which is directly responsible for sending over 100 student/athletes on scholarships to the USA and another 15 players info professional contracts in Europe, The NAB Academy, via www.ushighschoolonline.ie has also expanded to include a fully remote and NCAA accredited secondary school programme for students who may be interested in exploring education outside of the traditional Leaving Cert curriculum. In order to cater to the growing need for athletic training in the community, in January of 2020, Russell moved NAB Academy to its current location in Glasnevin and developed The Academy Sport and Fitness club, which holds in-house Physio and Psychotherapy services as well as personal training—all available to the general public.
Unfortunately, two months after moving into these facilities, the world shut down. Not to be deterred, NAB Academy focused its sights on developing the future of the NAB academy. It developed a partnership with non-profit basketball community club BC Taurus, which provides players aged 5-20 years old an opportunity to play basketball in the Regional and national leagues. In addition, in partnership with North Dublin football stars Owen Heary and Neale Fenn, The NAB Academy developed the North Atlantic Soccer Academy, seeking to replicate their previous success in basketball to the world of Football.
All of these efforts are driven by a desire to provide options for the betterment of the community. Russell, originally from Cabra himself, explains that “community is at the heart of everything we do. I grew up here, my family is here, and I wanted to make sure that everything I do enhances the community I care about.”
This devotion to community has led Dermot to unlikely waters. In March 2021, Russell established a second campus in Lanzarote, Spain. “This is fantastic for the community because it allows us to provide opportunities for North Dublin youth to experience the benefits of international travel with an organization they trust.” With full-time transition, post-secondary, and high school programs currently enrolling, NABA Lanzarote provides a cost-effective opportunity to provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the best of Europe.
Interested parties can learn more about this programme and schedule a meeting about any of these services by contacting Dermot at [email protected]. or by calling +353 87 114 8649 .
Caption: NAB Academy managing director Dermot Russell with the president of New Jersey CYO (Catholic Youth Organisation)