NEW YORK (AP) — Fordham will honor the memories of alumnus and longtime high school basketball scout Tom Konchalski and The Associated Press’ Hall of Fame basketball writer Jim O’Connell with a tournament at the school’s Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx.
The school announced this week that the games played Saturday through Tuesday — featuring the Rams, Holy Cross, Illinois-Chicago and Stonehill — will be the first Tom Konchalski Classic. The tournament’s most valuable player will receive the Jim O’Connell MVP Trophy.
Konchalski graduated from Fordham in 1968 and died in February 2021 at age 74 after a long bout with cancer. For nearly four decades, Konchalski published High School Basketball Illustrated, a voluminous newsletter filled with insight and scouting reports about players from around the country. The newsletter was never published online, only printed, and was mailed to college coaches at all levels of college basketball.
O’Connell was sports information director at Fordham from 1976-78 before beginning a four-decade career with AP. He covered every NCAA men’s Final Four from 1979-2017 and was given the Curt Gowdy Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
He was also inducted into the United States Basketball Writers Association’s Hall of Fame that year. He died in 2018 at the age of 64 after a long illness.
O’Connell was married for 37 years to Anne Gregory, the leading scorer and rebounder in Fordham women’s basketball history and the first female inductee into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
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