Susan Moran among sporting stars featured in children's book
Basketball ace Susan Moran from Tullamore is among the sporting stars featured in a new children's book on Ireland’s leading sportswomen.
Entitled 'Girls Play Too', the book features an array of Irish sports stars, 25 in total.
The book was written by RTE broadcaster Jacqui Hurley in order to promote the 20x20 national strategy relating to female participation in sport and media coverage.
Susan grew up in Kilbeggan before moving to Tullamore and later to Philadelphia. She was inducted into the Irish Basketball Hall of Fame last year.
Susan played in the women's NBA in the United States of America for many years and was voted best ever female Irish player in 2015. Her father Martin played football for Kilbeggan and Westmeath in the 1960s.
The book recalls that Susan was very good at tennis as a young girl before turning her sporting energies to basketball.
"She represented Ireland at underage level, but her parents knew that taking the next step and playing abroad would mean Susan leaving school, and they didn’t want her to do that. Luckily, Susan’s PE teacher started a school basketball team and convinced Susan to try that instead. Within a few years, Susan led her school and club in Tullamore to an All-Ireland double win, scoring 48 points in one game and 52 points in the other," the book states.
"News of Susan’s talents had spread around the country and she was picked for the Irish senior women’s team when she was only sixteen. A basketball scout from St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia travelled to watch her play and offered her a scholarship to go to college in America. Even though it was far from home, Susan knew it was a huge opportunity and she was determined to take it.
"Susan made an immediate impact in America. She was small for her position but she worked really hard and the coaches made her a starter on the team in her first year. Susan went on to start every single game of her four-year college career and she became the team’s all-time leading scorer. When Susan left St Joseph’s University, they retired her number 10 jersey and inducted her into the Hall of Fame.
"Playing professionally was Susan’s dream, and in 2002, she became the first – and only – Irish woman to play in the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association), when she joined New York Liberty. Susan’s basketball career took her all over the world, playing professionally in Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
"She now works as a coach with St Joseph’s University, where she walks onto the same basketball court she played on and wonders if someday she can help one of her players to break her scoring records!" the book continues.
Jacqui Hurley (pictured above) is one of Ireland’s foremost sports presenters. In 2009, she became the first female anchor of Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio One. She is a former Irish basketball international and also played camogie for Cork.
She lives in Dublin with her husband Shane and children Luke and Lily.