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Wait, Emily Ratajkowsk grew up in Bantry?!

It was just announced that Emily Ratajkowsk's clothing brand would be the new sponsor of Bantry Basketball Club's teenage team. But how?


by Lauren Heskin
22nd Jul 2021

Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Wait, Emily Ratajkowsk grew up in Bantry?!


In news that no one expected this week, it was announced that the American supermodel and NFT pioneer Emily Ratajkowsk had sponsored a sports team… but if you’re thinking WBNA or something though, you’d be wrong.

It’s Bantry Basketball Club U15/16 team.

No really,  they tweeted this yesterday:

Emily’s clothing brand Inamo Rata is going to sponsor the team’s jersey’s after their coach, Pat Curran, put in a text to her parents about sponsorship and received a swift “yes”. Turns out, her father used to play for the club and the family has spent the last three decades living in West Cork on and off.

Curran told RTÉ, “It’s funny to see all the reaction and tweets, people think it’s gas. But they’re just normal people when it comes to Bantry. Nobody takes any notice, nobody bothers anyone,”

In fact, while she didn’t quite “grow up” here, Ratakowski has a lot of ties to the West Cork area as her parents, English lecturer Kathleen Anne Balgley and artist John David Ratajkowsk bought and renovated an old farmhouse in the area in the 1980s and Emily spent every summer there as a child.

Her Irish heritage is strong too, with both of her grandmothers hailing front the green isle, Emily’s middle name is O’Hara in their honour. She considers Ireland her “second home” and has plenty of old friends, many of whom have links to the basketball community apparently. Back in 2018, she tweeted her congratulations to the local school when they were crowned All Ireland basketball champions.

It seems too that not only is the basketball link just a local connection, but they’re also very proud of Ratajkowsk’s activism and feel she will make an excellent role model for the young basketball community.

I sense there might be a lot more people showing up to the games now, in the hopes of seeing the team’s famous sponsor, although it appears the model is a regular visitor to West Cork, so keep an eye out on your next staycation visit.