Kevin O'Donoghue is a senior on the Cardinal Mooney High boys basketball team. Per MaxPreps statistics, O'Donoghue led the Cougars with 12 points per game last season, helping the team to a 17-10 record. The team's 2023-2024 season began Nov. 21 against Victory Rock Prep; the Cougars will next play at home at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 against Venice High.
When did you start playing basketball?
I started in third grade with the Suncoast Basketball League. My dad (Morgan O'Donoghue) was my coach. I was just playing different sports, trying to figure out the ones I liked, and I liked basketball the best. I stuck with it.
What is the appeal to you?
I like going out and competing with my teammates, my friends. I like being a leader and trying to get a win. The bond you form (with teammates) through basketball is special.
What is your best skill?
I can score the ball from all three levels. I can shoot from three. I can shoot from mid-range. But I can also attack the basket and finish around the rim.
What have you been working to improve?
My leadership skills. I'm a senior this year. I'm trying to be more vocal with the guys and lead as best as I can. You have to set an example, whether it is in practice or before a game, of just getting the guys together and ready to play.
What is your favorite basketball memory?
It has to be playing with my brother (Tyler O'Donoghue) my freshman year, at The Out-of-Door Academy. We have a close relationship, so getting to be on the court with him was awesome.
What is the biggest key to this season for Cardinal Mooney?
I think it is us sticking together and continuing to come into practice every day focused and working hard. The more we do that, the better we will get. Obviously, our goal is to reach Lakeland and the state Final Four. I think that is a realistic goal. We have a lot of skill on our team and a lot of seniors. If we keep our minds focused, I think we will get there.
Do you have any personal goals for this season?
Well, my teammate Connor Heald, he's a pretty good scorer as well. I think we both have a goal to score 20-plus points a game. But realistically for me, I think averaging 16 points per game and grabbing five or six rebounds per game would be good.
What is your favorite food?
Recently I have been eating chicken fried rice, maybe with a little yum yum sauce in there.
What is your favorite movie?
"Prisoners." I watched it a few months ago and have already rewatched it a couple times since then.
What is your favorite school subject?
This year I like my government class. I like my teacher (Harvey Stuckey) a lot and he makes it interesting and easy to learn.
What are your hobbies?
I like to chill. I hang out with friends, watch TV, play video games. I play a little pickleball and poker as well.
What is the best advice you have received?
Have a short memory. Basketball is a fast-paced game. If you miss a shot, you can't sulk about it for too long. You have to get back and play defense.
Finish this sentence: "Kevin O'Donoghue is …"
Energizing. I like to make people laugh and bring people's personalities out.