By Rob Huizenga, SXU Sports Information
CHICAGO – Former Saint Xavier University guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) recently extended his basketball playing career by signing a professional contract with the Cheshire Phoenix of the British Basketball League (BBL). The Phoenix are based out of Chester, United Kingdom, and under the direction of first-year coach and former NBA D-League and NCAA Division I coach John Coffino. Karp will kick off the 2014-15 season with the Phoenix on September 28 for a home opener against the Leicester Riders, a semifinalist in the 2013-14 BBL playoffs. Last season, the Phoenix finished fifth overall in the 12-team league with an overall record of 18-15 and qualified for the quarterfinals of postseason play.
“The Cheshire Phoenix have signed an exceptional player and person in Brad Karp,” said SXU men’s basketball coach Tom O’Malley. “I know that Brad has dreamed of playing professional basketball and worked very hard to help make that dream a reality. Becoming a professional athlete is extremely difficult, but I know that Brad has all the tools and drive to not only have a professional playing career, but also a successful one. All of us at Saint Xavier University are very proud of his accomplishments and look forward to following him.”
Karp had a magnificent four-year career at SXU that saw him finish fourth overall on the Illinois college basketball all-time career scoring list (2,889 points) as well as earn spots on four NAIA All-American teams and claim back-to-back Capital One College Division Academic All-American of the Year awards. He averaged 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game over his senior season with the Cougars, while shooting an outstanding 59.6 percent from the field. Karp also became Saint Xavier’s all-time leading scorer on January 11, 2014, when he surpassed Mike Walaczek, who set the previous mark in 1978 with 2,517 career points.
“Brad Karp is an athletic scoring wing, who is tough as nails and a great competitor,” said Coffino. “What Brad brings besides his All-American status are tangibles of hard work, toughness, hunger and basketball IQ. The versatility of playing either wing position helps us become more flexible with different matchups. His addition strengthens an already strong roster that has tough hard-nose players and good chemistry. He will complement the others well.”
Saint Xavier University is a proud member of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Based out of Chicago, the Cougars have a rich history of success in athletics fielding 17 varsity sports, including a football team that won the 2011 NAIA National Championship. To learn more about our program, check us out online at www.sxucougars.com.