Jim O’Connell, longtime college basketball writer for the Associated Press and the winner of the 2002 Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award, died July 2. He was 64.
Mr. O’Connell, a graduate of St. John’s University, left The AP for a time to serve as sports information director of Fordham University, where he met his wife, Anne, who is Fordham’s all-time leader in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. He returned to the AP in 1978 and covered every NCAA Division I men’s basketball Final Four from 1979 until 2017. He became AP’s national college basketball writer in 1987, covered eight Olympics and served as president of the United States Basketball Writers Association.
His wife, Anne, and two sons, James and Andrew, survive him.