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A Jesuit College Preparatory Experience
Athletics
Hall of Fame

1962 Basketball Team (2002)

Any discussion of the greatest hoop teams in Loyola Academy history must include the Heavyweights of 1962. Coach Gene Sullivan's 1962 Heavyweight Basketball Team is a study in form, function — and frustration. Conceivably his most talented array, the '62 cagers featured marquee players (Hall-of-Famers Jack Wambach, 1998; Paul Colleran, 1999; John Gorman, 2000) posted the school's all-time highest Heavyweight winning percentage (.875), and all but dominated Catholic League play. Following an unprecedented 21-1 regular season, however, the Ramblers lost their final two games (Gordon Tech, Catholic League championship; Marshall, city championship consolation), thus concluding both an exhilarating and exasperating year. A dynamic starting lineup of seniors Wambach, Gorman, Bud Elmore, and Jim Handley — coupled with Colleran, a junior — and a capable senior-laden bench (Jim Lyons, the team's Most Valuable Player; John Foreman; Pat Hogan; Jim O'Loughlin (Hall of Fame, 1998); Steve Galo; Bob Barrett; Tom Cole; Jack Seidler; Joe Mann, Bill Metzger) defined the pre-season by winning a second consecutive DePaul University Holiday Tournament. Steadied by Gorman's thirty-four points in the championship game vs. Leo and Wambach's and Elmore's All-Tourney selections, the Heavies braced for league play — principally the home-and-away tilts with Gordon Tech. The Ramblers rolled through their league schedule, going an undefeated 12-0 and beating rival Gordon Tech two times in convincing fashion. En route to a North Section championship, the '62 Heavies twice defeated each of six opponents by an average of 15+ points. The Chicago Tribune responded with a #1 area ranking, the first such honor in Loyola's storied basketball history. Thereafter, the post-season was a rude host. It is extremely difficult to defeat a worthy opponent three times in the same season, and the Ramblers fell to Gordon, 55-51, in the league championship before losing to Public League Runner-Up Marshall, 61-58 in overtime, in the city consolation finals. Season-ending setbacks notwithstanding, the 1962 Heavyweight Basketball Team celebrates its year of pre-eminence (a 21-3 record) and distinction (four individual Hall-of-Fame inductees, including the late Gene Sullivan). Amid balanced scoring, a suffocating defense, a resilient bench (complete with juniors Rich Kehoe, John Lucas, and Ray Ferrara), and a luminous coach, the team assumes its place among Loyola's elite.
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