The first time Kieran Quinn saw Gandy Malou-Mamel play, it happened by accident.
A former member of the Irish national basketball team who played at Division II Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut, Quinn serves as a liaison and advisor of sorts for Irish basketball players looking to come to the United States. One day about 20 months ago, he was asked to look at film and provide an opinion on a specific player.
Instead, Malou-Mamel caught his attention — and he couldn’t take his eyes off her.
“I’m like, ‘Who the hell is that?’ All I saw was her running up and down the floor under four seconds, going rim to rim numerous times,” Quinn said. “I could see her length as she was putting her lead hand out. She was playing like a rim-running five. I’m like, ‘Oh my God. This kid can move.’”
He eventually found a connection to her through a fellow Irish player who he helped earn a spot at University of St. Joseph in West Hartford named Ruairi Cronin. With COVID still restricting travel, Quinn couldn’t immediately get to Ireland so he needed Cronin to put Malou-Mamel through a series of drills, record them and send the tape back.
The results weren’t great.
“It was a hot mess,” Quinn said. But... “You could just see the raw materials of what could be a tremendous athlete.”
Less than two years later, Malou-Mamel is committed to UConn.
“Gandy told me when she came over, she was like ‘My dream school is UConn,’” Quinn said. “I did not think that 10 months ago, 11 months ago when she arrived here that we’d be talking about UConn — but we are.”