Mike Callaghan ’13 seized an opportunity to play professional basketball abroad, and it has paid off. A two-time second-team all-NESCAC selection, Callaghan is now playing for SSE Renewables Moycullen in Galway, a member of the Irish Premier League. He’s the only American on a team of 11 players and three games into the 18-game regular season, Callaghan leads his squad in both scoring and rebounding while playing 34 of 40 minutes per game.
“The competition is tough,” Callaghan said. “The one American for the other team is often a former Division I player and the Irishmen who play are good players as well. It is a bit of a step up from Wesleyan in terms of what I have to do individually (shoot a lot more, score, rebound).”
As a Cardinal senior, Callaghan averaged 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2012-2013. He made the connection to Irish basketball through former Hamilton College standout Pat Sullivan, who played professionally in Ireland in 2012. Callaghan submitted a highlight tape and was given a shot.
” I’m really focused on helping my team this year and doing my best for them. After the season, I will reevaluate whether I want to continue my pro career,” he said. “The experience has been great so far, Ireland is a beautiful country and Galway (the city I live in) is full of friendly people and fun activities. My team is full of great people, from the executives of the club to the coaches to the players. I am really grateful for the opportunity and will continue to do my best.”
Callaghan’s Wesleyan coach, Joe Reilly, praised his former player. “We’re extremely excited for Mike. His improvement over four years was recognized by our peers as he was a two-time all-conference player. He has a great attitude and a tireless work ethic. It’s great to see it rewarded to have him play on the professional level. Mike will have a great impact on the court but he also will have a tremendous impact on their community.”
Callaghan said that in addition to his commitment as a player, he “also helps with coaching the youth teams affiliated with the club, which has been awesome.”