Scott Kinevane’s moustache can speak Polish in French. It can kill two stones with one bird. This mo lives vicariously through itself. A rattlesnake once bit it, after 5 days of excruciating pain, the rattlesnake died. Right after that, Kinevane and his mo sat down to talk about Saturday’s Irish men’s cup final between DBS Éanna and University of Galway Maree
It is hypnotic and perplexing. Is he about to step into the cockpit of a spitfire or considering an alternative career in adult cinema? Either is plausible with that majestic beast upon Scott Kinevane’s upper lip. Whatever the occasion, that moustache is going to be ready for it as the Éanna man aims to help his side to a first ever Irish Cup title. That’s Mr Kinevane according to his Zoom, he is a teacher of PE and geography after all.
“I have to facilitate, find the gaps, and figure out what tempo is going to work. We’re better when we’re free flowing. If we can get stops and run, we tend to play a lot better. I start on the bench so I try to see what gaps there are and implement it as I see it,” Kinevane told BallinEurope.
Kinevane has previously won a cup with UL Eagles and lost a couple of finals with UCD Marian but his hopes of making it to this Saturday’s game hinged entirely on his team mates. Éanna had rotten luck with injuries going into their semi-final with Ballincollig and Kinevane, who is fit for the decider, was one of several who had to watch on nervously and powerless to do anything.
“I probably could have played in the semi-final but it was 60/40 that I might reaggravate it so I had to keep my fingers and toes crossed but thankfully we got the job done. It’s a testament to the squad that we have that we won,” he said.
“The experience stands to you. I’ve been there a few times now. Every final is a learning experience. The last final that the guys were in, the lads know what they’ll change going into this one for the preparation.”
Kinevane gives particular credit to the one man on the roster even more experienced than him, Mark Reynolds.
“Having someone like Mark to talk to is great. It’s nice that it means I’m not the oldest guy on the team either but his physicality has lifted everyone, he could go for another couple of years if he wants to,” he said.
“We have to hold everyone accountable. It’s not just the week before, it’s continuous. We try to keep focused and do what we do each week, keep training competitive, scout the other team, and execute.”
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The final is a match-up of two sides that have never lifted the trophy and the unique pairing is one Kinevane welcomes.
“It’s great for the game to have new faces and new teams in the final. It’s great for both teams as there’s no history to worry about, it’s all about getting in there to try and get the job done,” he said.
The rare pairing also points to the changing face of the league. What was once an almost entirely Irish player base mixed with some Americans will have a final with Croats, Serbs, Ukrainians, Spaniards, and even someone from the UK taking the floor.
“From starting in the league, there definitely wasn’t such an eclectic group of players. I remember there was an Australian in the league one year, which was exotic. It’s only pushed on the game as well. The skill level that these guys bring over is only going to help develop the Irish talent,” Kinevane said.
As for the game itself, it’s safe to assume there’ll be a clash of style.
“Both teams are physical. We pride ourselves on trying to be defensive while they’ve got some size. The way the game has gone now, you can be as physical as you want but it’s the skill set that makes the difference in the end.” Kinevane said.
“We’ve got to move them and play at a fast pace, creating mismatches as much as we can. That’s what basketball is about, hunt mismatches and execute. Their advantage is being bigger, ours is being fast.”BallinEurope has a book, a real life actual book called I Like it Loud, and you can buy it on Amazon now. It’s here as a book and here in Kindle form.
In addition to his on-court duties on Saturday, Kinevane is an ambassador for the Pinergy Schools Cup finals which are taking place this week. It’s a role suited to the man who is a teacher, like oh so many players in this league. Kinevane isn’t shocked that it’s a career of choice for so many of Ireland’s top ballers.
“It’s similar with the GAA as well, it’s about the time commitment. It’s a massive commitment to play Super League basketball, training 3 nights a week, playing weekends, and keeping in shape,” he said.
“The summertime can be used to get your body ready. If I was working a 9 to 5 in an office, I don’t know if I’d have the legs to play at the weekend.”
He hopes his role this week will also help to spur on the young talent he currently trains in Dublin.
“It’s an honour to be an ambassador as I was fortunate to play in a few schools finals growing up with Coláiste Éanna. I’m coaching in St Tiernan’s but we’re division D at the minute, we don’t get many basketball players in the school,” Kinevane said.
“It’s more of a soccer school but I’m trying to promote it. I’ve got a few guys coming in early before school to shoot on the outdoor court. They’re getting the basketball bug.”
As for the moustache? Roses stop to smell it and it once turned a vampire into a vegetarian.