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Basketball: St. Xavier’s Brad Karp signs with Cheshire Phoenix of British Basketball League

Brad Karp St. Xavier | File photo

Brad Karp, of St. Xavier | File photo

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Updated: August 24, 2014 6:19AM



Brad Karp’s college basketball career is over, but St. Xavier’s all-time leading scorer isn’t calling it quits.

Karp signed a professional contract Monday with the Cheshire Phoenix of the British Basketball League.

“The decision was a lot of different things,” Karp said. “The league has a good style of play with lots of scoring that felt like a good fit for me. It felt like the recruiting process again with college, looking for the right city, coach and team.”

Karp, who was named to NAIA All-American teams all four years at St. Xavier, led the Cougars to a 30-5 record in 2013-14, averaging 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals. The 6-foot-5 guard became the Cougars’ all-time leading scorer during his senior season, piling up 2,889 points over his four years, good for fourth on Illinois’ college basketball all-time career scoring list.

“The No. 1 goal was to win a national championship, but we came up a little short there,” Karp said. “I was always taught put the team first and that will set you up individually.”

After the season ended, Karp, a Valparaiso High School product, setting up shop in a gym. After weeks of workouts, he’s ready to prove himself at the pro level.

“This has been one of the most fun parts of my basketball career,” Karp said with a laugh. “All I have to do is work out. All I do is lift and work out and train hard. It’s been fun to just play basketball. It’s a dream to me.”

The Phoenix will start training camp in early September and kick off its season Sept. 28. The British Basketball League has 12 teams, each of which plays 33 games.

Karp’s new team is based in Chester, England, about 30 miles south of Manchester.

The team finished fifth in the league last year with an 18-15 record.

“As a basketball player, you always want to play pro, and I knew it would be tough coming out of NAIA to go pro,” Karp said. “That’s what you work for.”

St. Xavier men’s basketball coach Tom O’Malley knows Cheshire is getting are a proven winner, a proven scorer.

“I know that Brad has dreamed of playing professional basketball and worked very hard to help make that dream a reality,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I know that Brad has all the tools and drive to not only have a professional playing career, but also a successful one.”



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