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College Basketball: Another milestone for St. Xavier men’s coach Tom O’Malley

Reflecting on his nearly 50 seasons of coaching basketball, it can all become a bit overwhelming for St. Xavier men’s coach Tom O’Malley.

“I’ve been fortunate to be around so many great young men for so many years,” he said. “It’s been a pretty good life.”

O’Malley, in his 17th season at St. Xavier, hit another milestone Dec. 3, earning his 400th win at the school with the Cougars’ 108-81 victory over Trinity International.

After the team’s Saturday win over Judson, O’Malley stands 401-155 at the school. Before his time in Mount Greenwood, he won 474 games in 32 years as a high school coach at Leo, Reavis and Evergreen Park.

No. 11 St. Xavier improved to 8-2 with the win.

“It’s nice to hit milestones,” he said. “After that game, I came into my office and I looked around and saw the photos of all the wonderful young men that I’ve had the pleasure of coaching. Players win games, not me.”

O’Malley’s star player, senior guard Brad Karp, continues to establish his place in St. Xavier history as well.

Karp scored 13 points in the win over Judson and became the second-highest scorer in program history. Karp, who now has 2,290 career points, passed Mark Telander (2,281) and is just 227 points away from the record.

“Brad Karp is a kid that does so many things,” O’Malley said. “He’s leading us in scoring (26.2 per game), rebounding (8.1) and steals (3.8). He plays hard every day. He’s a great player and a great student.”

St. Xavier has a big week ahead, with key road contests Saturday at Robert Morris and Thursday at Roosevelt.

Holiday hoops

The women’s teams at South Suburban College and Moraine Valley will both compete in the South Suburban College Christmas Tournament over the weekend, though they won’t face one another other.

South Suburban (7-3) will host Lansing Community College (Mich.) at 7 p.m. Friday, following a game between Moraine (5-4) and Cincinnati State Tech.

The event concludes Saturday with clashes between Moraine and Lansing (noon) and South Suburban and Cincinnati State Tech (2 p.m.).

Child’s play

A long weekend of basketball at South Suburban will be capped at 5 p.m. Saturday when the Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in National Junior College Athletic Association Division II, host Joliet Junior College.

It will be Kids’ Day, as all children 16 and under will receive free admission. Santa Claus will make a visit. Entertainment also will include face-painting, balloons, games and dances.



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