By Jerry Del Priore
It’s been a whirlwind week for senior Casey O’Shaughnessy. In the midst of studying for finals, the Marine Park native finally committed to learning and playing basketball at Division II St. Leo University, located 35 miles north of Tampa, Florida, after careful and painstaking deliberation.
“I wanted to make sure I made the right choice,” O’Shaughnessy said. “It feels good. The coaches are really good. The coaches and girls that I met were all nice. And it’s (St. Leo) in a really nice area.”
O’Shaughnessy, who scored a season-high 49 points in a game against Cristo Rey Brooklyn, had her pick of schools from which to choose, including DII SUNY Courtland College and Dominican College, and DIII SUNY Potsdam University and Mercy College.
From a Tiger to a Lion, she said she went with St. Leo for its strong academics and the school’s solid women’s basketball program, citing that “it’s the right fit,” and plans to study sports management at the university.
O’Shaughnessy said she will receive partial athletic/academic scholarship monies, and the complete details are currently being worked out.
Her head coach for the last four at Bishop Kearny, Rocco Sellitto is glad that his former star has seeminly pick the right school for her to flourish as a student-athlete.
“I think that St Leo’s and Coach Crocitto are a perfect fit for Casey. I’m happy that she was patient and waited for the right opportunity. I look forward to following her college career at St Leo’s”
While O’Shaughnessy is eagerly anticipating graduation day from Bishop Kearney, she said that the closing of the Bensonhurst school in August is “bittersweet” for her because of the underclass-women who need to find a new institution to finish out their high school education.
O’Shaughnessy always dreamed of playing at the collegiate level and is thrilled that it will become a reality this fall.
“I have always (wanted to play in college),” she said in all earnest. “It’s cool to have accomplished that.”
However, O’Shaughnessy knows that she’s not going to just step in and have the red carpet rolled out for her. She’ll have to earn the hardwood action.
“I have to work at getting playing time,” the five-foot-seven sharpshooter said. “They’re not going to hand it to me.”