MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — World handball champion Killian Carroll met with the Maverick Handball Team on Saturday for a day of handball competition and practice.
“Here they have great players to train, and it’s a rare opportunity to work with great athletes and great players. And help them along the way because a lot of people have helped me along the way,” said professional handball player and champion Killian Carroll.
After Carroll practiced one-on-one with four MNSU handball players, the men played two-on-one exhibition matches on Saturday night.
The games displayed a high level of athleticism that rocked the MNSU handball courts, and the varsity teams won against Carroll.
“So we basically took our top four players, paired them up, and that will make it a little more even against the best player in the world,” MNSU head handball coach Mike Wells said.
“There’s no point in being nervous. Enjoy, enjoy and also learn from Killian, even while playing with him. This will be my first time playing with Killian so it’s exciting to learn from him,” said MNSU handball player and graduate student Shane Dunne.
“I always think it’s better when I play against them, because they can make their own critical judgements, ‘it’s the pace, it’s the power, it’s the kind of thing I have to do ‘” Carroll said.
Carroll currently lives in Boston, but grew up playing and learning handball in Ireland.
Although Saturday was not Carroll’s first time at MNSU, he felt a connection with the three new Irish MNSU handball signings.
“We like to roll it every three to four years. And when he found out we had three new players from Ireland, where he is from, he expressed an interest in coming and maybe they feel a bit more at home,” Wells said.
Carroll’s years of dedication to handball and lessons in Ireland have helped him pass on tips for playing the sport.
“It’s a very big part of Irish handball culture – all the clubs have good youngsters, there’s a club every 30 minutes. And they always need coaches and coaches, and I like always do it,” Carroll said.
One of Ireland’s new signings, Shane Dunne, says playing and working with Carroll inspired him to reach the same level as Carroll.
“He is so athletic. He’s fast, he’s fast. I think it’s one thing about him and his games, how quick and athletic he is. But obviously his backstage work rate that people don’t see is also unreal,” Dunne said.
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