By Kevin Devlin
He’s quiet. He’s polite. He keeps busy playing basketball in school and at the Walsh Center gymnasium. He helps out at the Walsh gym with the timeclock and scorebook during hoop games. He works part time at the Joseph M. Tierney Learning Center as a junior staff person and enjoys supervising the youngsters under his tutelage. His name is Danny O’Neill.
Danny, 16, lives with his two brothers, Shawn, who is his guardian, and his younger brother, Devin. When he was a youngster, Danny attended the Michael J. Perkins Elementary School and Up Academy. Both schools are located in South Boston. He’s currently a sophomore at Charlestown High School.
Charlestown High School which has been serving Boston students since 1845 is proud of its diverse program serving a diverse population, by utilizing their Small Learning Community (SLC) model which “organizes students into smaller cohorts so every student receives the guidance and support for his or her needs.” Danny admittedly is doing okay in school but also admittedly knows he can do better and is willing to do so as he continues down his educational path.
Danny is on the junior varsity squad at Charlestown High School is averaging about 12 points per game. He enjoys the team camaraderie and the experience. He feels like he’s getting better which each game and practice and understands he needs to work hard at all times to achieve his goal of becoming an overall better player.
“It’s a learning process for me,” he said. “I’m putting in a lot of hard work every day. I go to school early each morning before classes. I shoot around and lift weights. I also go to the Condon School once a week and we go through basketball drills and exercises with Coach Billy Allen. He’s great and is really helpful….giving us good hoop tips that can improve our game.”
Danny is also on the Gate of Heaven CYO intermediate team coached by Bryan Van Dorpe and Michael Collins. On January 14 at the Walsh Center gym, against Saint Ann’s of Dorchester, he netted 36 points, including 8 three-pointers. Albeit in a losing cause, the following week, on Saturday, January 21, again at the Walsh Center gym, he scored 34 points (including 8 treys) against his Gatey intermediate peers, coached by John Knight.
Danny started playing basketball two years ago. For a teenager who only has two years under his belt on the court, he’s quite the player. He knows the game. He’s quick. He’s smart. He’s got a good handle. He plays good defense. He unselfish and knows when to pass. He’s a tremendous shooter. He mixes his game up to keep his foes on their toes. He can penetrate and score. Or he can knock down the three-pointer from downtown.
Without doubt, the kid’s a scorer.
Without doubt he’s a good kid.
And we wish him the best as he continues to razzle and dazzle his opponents on the court.
By Kevin Devlin