Feb. 24, 2003
Former Notre Dame basketball great Kevin O’Shea – who in 1950 became the program’s career scoring leader and the first four-year All-American in the history of Notre Dame athletics – died on Friday, Feb. 21, in his native San Francisco.
O’Shea earned the rare distinction of posting four All-America seasons when freshmen were granted eligibility for several years in the post-World War II era. He remains one of just 18 Notre Dame student-athletes ever to be a four-year All-American and is the only one to do so in basketball, with the others coming from the sports of fencing (10), women’s soccer (3), cross country/track (3) and baseball (1).
A graduate of San Francisco’s St. Ignatius High School, O’Shea went on to star as a crafty guard at Notre Dame from 1946-50. He averaged 9.5 points per game as a freshman on the 1946-47 team that went 20-4 before earning consensus All-America honors as a sophomore (11.5 ppg). He closed his career with his third and fourth All-American seasons, averaging 10.5 points as a junior and 14.9 as a senior captain in 1949-50.
O’Shea’s 1,065 career points still rank 37th on the Notre Dame career scoring charts. He became the program’s first-ever first-round draft selection in National Basketball Association history, playing three professional seasons with the Minneapolis Lakers/Hawks and the Baltimore Bullets.
A World War II veteran of the Coast Guard, O’Shea is survived by his wife of 54 years Jeanne, five children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Friends may call Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Duggan’s Funeral Service (3434 17th Street; near Valencia; 415-431-4900) and at St. Brendan’s Church (after 4:30 p.m.) where the Vigil Service will be held at 5:00 p.m. and are invited to attend the Funeral Mass on Thursday (Feb. 27), 10:00 a.m. at St. Brendan’s. Committal will be at Holy Cross Cemetery. Donations preferred to St. Ignatius College Prep. Class of ’43 Scholarship Fund 2001, 37th Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94116.