Open Gym: Cardinal O’Hara

Located in the heart of Delaware County, Cardinal O’Hara’s basketball fortunes rest on the shoulders of a true “Philly Point Guard.” Antwaun “Booty” Butler is a grizzled veteran of Philly Public League and PIAA playoff wars. He’s come away from more than his fair share of skirmishes with some BIG name scalps. For example, in addition to a 20 game winning streak, he’s led an undersized, undermanned Del Val program to playoff victories over a very good Mastery North program and nationally prominent Neumann-Goretti and Imhotep.

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Antwuan “Booty” Butler, Senior Point Guard

A complete player, before the first game this year, Butler has already amassed more than 1,000 varsity points. He gets buckets, but he’s not a scorer… He is a consummate “Philly Point Guard.” Elite Philly Point Guards have an ability to do something special every time they put the ball on the floor. HoopHeads have been spoiled over the past few years. There have been several guys that have upheld the tradition… Tony Carr (Roman Catholic/Penn State), Quade Green (Neumann-Goretti/Kentucky), Collin Gillespie (Archbishop Wood/Villanova) and Daron Russell (Imhotep/Rhode Island) have proudly represented the brand.

This year, Sam Sessoms, Jr. (Shipley/Binghamton commit) and Booty Butler are the guys.

With the revocation of Del Val’s Charter by the School District of Philadelphia, Butler was thrust into a quasi “free agent” status for his senior season. There was widespread speculation that he would join one of the established basketball powers… Would he end up at Martin L. King? Would he play at Constitution? Would he fill Gillespie’s shoes at Wood?

For those that know Butler, it’s not surprising that he’s at Cardinal O’Hara. After all, he played some his finest basketball and won some of his biggest games playing for Jason Harrigan at Del Val Charter. After Bulter’s sophomore season, Harrigan was named the Philadelphia Daily News Coach of Year. Perhaps, sensing the precarious nature of Del Val’s long-term future, Harrigan accepted the challenge of guiding the moribund Cardinal O’Hara program in the ultra-competitive Philadelphia Catholic League.

While he’s added some talent over the last year, Harrigan remains short-handed. But for this year, at least, O’Hara cannot be counted out…

They got Booty Butler!

Thick-bodied and tough, Butler embodies that tough Philly Point Guard mentality we have become accustomed to watching Carr, Green, Gillespie and Russell. He is probably the most physically imposing point guard in the Greater Philadelphia region. His speed makes him a threat to create a fast break in the blink of an eye. He plays a very efficient, no-frills version of the position. Butler, generally speaking, makes good decisions in transition. He pushed the ball relentlessly at every opportunity, seeming to gain strength when opponents begin to wane.

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Herman Suazo, Senior PF

While Butler will inevitably carry much of the load, he will have some assistance. O’Hara picked up some much needed size and athleticism when senior power forward Herman Suazo transferred from Wilkes Barre High School. Suazo stands 6’6″ and weighs 190 lbs. He’s going to help O’Hara on the boards and provide some quality low post defense.

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John Dinkins and Dajon Womack

Two other quality combo guards have made their way to O’Hara this year. Elijah Smith a strong 5’10” combo guard has transferred from Academy New Church and 6 foot wing John Dinkins has come over from Mt. Pleasant (DE).

Senior wing Garret Ripp will provide some energy and athleticism. He’s an excellent athlete, at 6’0″ he attacks the rim with outstanding leaping ability. After transferring in from West Catholic, Dajon Womack should be a significant contributor. He’s a solid “glue guy” that’s always around the ball. Womack is a very willing and capable on-ball defender, he rebounds well and he comes up with loose balls.

But…

At the end of the day… This team will go as far as Booty Butler can carry them…

He may have score much more than he’s been asked in the past, but Booty will probably be up to the task…

If anyone knows how to get the most out of Butler, it’s Harrigan…

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Jason Harrigan, Cardinal O’Hara Coach

He may not have as many weapons as some of the top programs, but he’s got Butler… On many nights this winter, that will be enough. Yo Booty… Welcome to the Philadelphia Catholic League!

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