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O'Keefe, Richard T.

Richard T. O'Keefe '47
  • Sport: Basketball
  • Inducted in 1962

Richard O’Keefe was a standout athlete in the Bay area where he was the center and captain of the St. James 1941 basketball team that defeated bay area powerhouses  such as Washington, St. Ignatius, Commerce, and Sacred Heart. His senior season, O'Keefe led all city scorers with 176 points (18 ppg average). O'Keefe, also nicknamed "Rusty," was the CCAL's Most Valuable Player in 1941. He was late inducted into the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame. After St. James, O’Keefe stayed in the bay and played at Santa Clara for his first two years before he had to serve in WWII as a Lieutenant with the 6th Marino Division in China. Returning from war, he came back to Santa Clara for his senior season where he helped lead the Broncos to one of the best seasons ever with a record of 21-4. This gave many NBA teams solidation that O’Keefe still had it. In the the 1947 BAA draft, the Washington Capitals selected him with the 9th pick by legendary coach Red Auerbach. O’Keefe played for them for 4 seasons for both Auerbach and Bob Feerick, who eventually became Santa Clara’s head coach.

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