ALL-MET ELITE INTERVIEW
BISHOP O'CONNELL HS.
Bishop O'Connell HS.
17, 6’4, 195
2. How do you balance being a two sport athlete of both basketball & football - how do you effectively manage the rest that your body & mind may need from the grind of playing two sports?
It’s hard but I find a way to manage due to my stable and constant motivation. I try to get as many shots up as I can during the football season after practice and even on the weekends to keep my rhythm so I won’t be behind when the season comes around. Working on my weaknesses is essential in the off-season and during football season as I try and take my game to the next level. Football comes a little easier than basketball, but I still work as hard wether it’s footwork, route running, hand-eyed coordination, speed, or keeping my hands up to par. I have mentors that give me a blueprint, that way when they’re not around I still go achieve, amplify my work ethic and stay dedicated.
I currently have two basketballs offers from: High Point and Radford. Schools that shown interest are: OK State, Boston College, GW, Sienna, West Virginia, The Mount, Xavier, Seton Hall, Holy Cross, Kansas State, etc.
I don't current have any football offers however shools that have shown interest are: Norte Dame, Duke, UNC, Boston College, Syracuse, Villanova, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Rutgers, UVA, Georgia Tech, Temple, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Kentucky, and Penn State, etc.
4. Are you looking to be a two sport athlete in college or do you see yourself picking one sport to focus on in college?
As of right now I plan on being a two sport athlete in college until otherwise, while of course diligently focus on academic aspirations.
It was fun playing with Xavier last year, he taught me a lot and our high-levels of competition and heart both made us better ball players. He was smart but wasn’t afraid to talk trash as he was all about the W and would do anything to get it. He taught me how to change speeds, which was something we both struggled with my freshman and his junior year. All in all he taught me how to lead a WCAC championship contending team not just with words but with action, all while making everybody around you better which is something I plan on doing this year and the year after that.
6. What do you believe O'Connell needs to do this year to win the WCAC championship? How do you see your role expanding this upcoming season now that you are a junior?
This year I think we need to play together and for each other. That means being a willing passer, attacking the lane for others, playing defense, sacrificing your body, taking the shot when it’s there, rebounding, communicating, being resilient, and playing with some grit. We have all the pieces, the key is to believe in ourselves no matter what the odds are. God will take care of everything else, by saying this I mean we have to control what we can control, have fun, and focus on making others around us better, that way we are making ourselves better. Last year my role was to be a leader, rebound, be the best defender on the court, create the energy, be a willing passer, and of course take my shot when it was there. This year I have to do the same exact thing, but add the part where I facilitate and score more which I have no problem with especially with the dynamic team we have again this year.
Some of the high points from the AAU Circuit would be my first game at Bowie City gym & beating Team Melo. Putting the team on my back and really making a statement which was accomplished. Another example would be the Hoop Group showcase league tournament. We won the championship without my play on the court but I was there fighting with them on the bench every game making sure they were on their P’s and Q’s, igniting that spark within them, while giving them confidence that they could do it if they believed in themselves as much as I believed in them. Overall I played really well over the summer and turned some heads, I just tried to have as much fun with it as possible because I’m gonna wish I had these days back.
Although I did play varsity lacrosse as a freshman, it was for a condensed time. I stopped because it was too time consuming and I rather be fully committed than partially committed in fairness to the kids on that team that worked really hard. Lacrosse was very fun but I think that run has ended.