American model and businesswoman Emily Ratajkowski has sponsored a local teenage basketball team in Co Cork, according to Bantry Basketball Club.

The club said Ms Ratajkowski's clothing brand Inamorata will sponsor the jerseys of the under-15/16 team.

Pat Curran, the coach of the team, said Ms Ratajkowski has a strong connection to Bantry.

In 2018, she congratulated a local school on becoming All-Ireland basketball champions.

Mr Curran said fundraising during Covid-19 was difficult because the club was "slow to approach local businesses" due to the difficult financial year including pandemic-related closures.

He said because he is good friends with Ms Ratajkowski's parents, who have a home in Bantry, he sent them a text asking if she would be interested.

"Within five minutes we got the 'yes'," he revealed.

Mr Curran said that Ms Ratajkowski's father John used to play for Bantry Basketball Club in the 1980s and the family regularly return to the town.

"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," he said.

"She has very good friends here and they're all connected to the basketball club."

He said the jerseys featuring the Inamorata logo will be presented in September.

Mr Curran said he "would not doubt" Ms Ratajkowski will see the team play at some stage.

"It is a high-profile sponsor for such a small team. We haven't had any basketball for 18 months so it is a way of saying we're still here," he said.

"It's an extra bit of excitement," Mr Curran added.