Hero of Last Year’s Memorable Nightcap Looking to Take Sayreville to Next Level
|Sayreville’s Ryan O’Leary elevates for a three point shot against Woodbridge at the Bomb Shelter on January 15th. O’Leary is playing in his fourth Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase.|
SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–The Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase has only been around for going on five years, and Sayreville’s Ryan O’Leary will be playing a part in his fourth one. O’Leary has had several stops along the way in his high school career, but has found a home at Sayreville.
Three years ago as a freshman at Cardinal McCarrick, O’Leary connected on two threes in the second quarter in what eventually became an overtime win over the crosstown rival Guvs of South Amboy. It would be the second straight season that the Eagles and Governors went to overtime before a winner was decided.
At the start of his sophomore campaign, O’Leary was on the losing side of the rivalry game between McCarrick and South Amboy. Playing for the Guvs then, O’Leary and his mates fell victim to a Cardinal McCarrick squad coached by former St. Anthony’s assistant coach, Ben Gamble, that was looking to make moves in the GMC, and they rolled past the Guvs in the contest.
Last year as a junior, O’Leary played for Sayreville against his former school, South Amboy, and scored 32 points including the last second game winner to lift the Bombers past the Governors in what was a thrilling game to close out the night at the 2015 Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase. O’Leary’s performance was a springboard for the junior’s tremendous season in 2015-16.
During the 2015-16 campaign, O’Leary earned GMC Hoops Impact Player of the Year honors by playing in all 28 games for Sayreville, and averaging 19 points per game. The junior scored a total of 531 points on 149 field goals, 41 three pointers, and 102 free throws. O’Leary scored in double figures in 26 of those 28 games including 15 of those games where he scored 20 points or more, and eight of those contests, where he scored at least 25 points.
|O’Leary poses with family members following the February 28th game versus East Brunswick at the Bomb Shelter. The Sayreville senior guard scored his 1,000th career point in the third quarter of this game.|
The Bombers benefited greatly from O’Leary’s success, which also included him scoring his 1,000th point against East Brunswick in a state tourney tune-up on February 28th at the Bomb Shelter in Sayreville. Sayreville managed to gain a share of the 2015-16 GMC White Division title with Colonia, and reach the 2016 GMCT Quarterfinals. The Bombers also turned in a memorable come from behind win over Montgomery in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 State Tournament.
Sayreville would ultimately lose in the CJ Group 4 Quarterfinals to top seeded Hunterdon Central, but the Bombers including O’Leary were hard at work during the off-season to accomplish a goal of reaching the summit of Greater Middlesex Conference Boys Basketball come the end of February. Starting in the spring, Sayreville competed in the Kean Spring League, East Brunswick Team Camp, Hamilton Park Summer League in Jersey City, and Hoop Group Headquarters Fall League.
|O’Leary uses his length and athleticism on this dunk during a contest in the Kean Spring League at Harwood Arena in Union back in May. The senior is not only a good shooter, but is also a solid rebounder, and good all around player.|
In addition, Sayreville had a second squad competing in the Monroe Sports Center Summer League. The Bombers have nearly everyone returning from last year’s team including O’Leary, Jahsim Floyd, Elijah Clark, Henny Mautes, Derek Astarita, Ope Olaloko, Jayson DeMild, and Mike Gray. In addition, Sayreville got a another key ingredient to its roster when Xavier Townes transferred in from St. Joseph’s. On top of that, the Bombers have top JV player from a year ago, Zac Kaczmarek coming up to the varsity as well.
The Townes addition could prove to be very beneficial to O’Leary. Both he and Townes, the younger brother of former Cardinal McCarrick and St. Joseph’s standout, Marques Townes, who is now playing college ball in the Missouri Valley Conference for Loyola University of Chicago, grew up together and played ball together in South Amboy. Watching the two in action during the fall at the Hoop Group Headquarters, you could see how well the two play together. Each one knows exactly what the other is doing.
|O’Leary elevates for a three pointer in the second half against Randolph in the Hamilton Park Summer League Playoffs back in August. The Bombers reached the quarterfinals in the highly touted Jersey City League.|
O’Leary has garnered some NCAA Division I interest. According to Sayreville boys basketball head coach, John Wojcik, the 6’4″ senior guard has received interest from four different D1 schools: Monmouth, FDU, Brown, and Elon in North Carolina. He has yet to receive any offers so he is not narrowing down his choices yet. There has also been some D2 and D3 interest, but the “ultimate goal is D1.” Academically, O’Leary has also excelled.
In the classroom, O’Leary has managed to attain a 4.1 GPA as well as a 1220 score on the math and verbal portions of the SAT. Wojcik also goes on to say that O’Leary is a “very good all around basketball player,” and addresses some misconceptions about him as a player. “Ryan is a very good all around basketball player,” the Bombers head coach now in his sixth year. “I think people see him as just a shooter. He is multi-dimensional and does a lot more than shoot. He can attack and play above the rim. He is a very underrated rebounder as well. As good as he is on the court, Ryan is even a better student and person.”
|O’Leary skies for a layup in the second half against Randolph in the Hamilton Park Summer League playoffs back in August. Sayreville will be the number one ranked team when the GMC Hoops Pre-Season Top Ten comes out later this week.|
GMC Hoops will be getting a good dose of O’Leary and his Sayreville teammates during the course of opening weekend. On Friday night, December 16th, the site will be covering the pre-season number one ranked Bombers in action against North Brunswick in the season opener for both schools at North Brunswick High School. Then, on Saturday night, December 17th, GMC Hoops will be covering the Bombers in action against Bishop Ahr in the third game of the day at the 2016 Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase.