That team, like many North Andover basketball teams, was a special group and Mike McVeigh was the bonding for each team.
As seniors, Kyle, Zach Karalis, Colby Smith, Mike Moroney, Jim Warden and John Miller led the Knights to a 21-2 record and advancement to the D2 North semifinals.
“Coach McVeigh is a huge influence in my life on and off the court,” said Karalis, the team MVP during his junior and senior seasons.
“He taught me valuable life lessons that I will carry with me forever. There is no coach who cares about his players like he does and he truly loves all of them.
“Coach McVeigh is one of the biggest role models that I have ever had. I owe a lot to coach for everything that he has done for me.”
Karalis just completed his freshman year at WPI and helped the Engineers to the D3 NCAA round of 32. The former Knight guard averaged 10.1 points and 22.8 minutes for WPI (26-3) and had the buzzer-beater shot to defeat Babson (66-64) and send his team to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship game.
As a senior for North Andover, Karalis averaged 15.9 ppg, 6.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
“It was an honor to play for coach McVeigh for three years,” said Moroney, who averaged 9.8 points and 6.6 rebounds as a senior. “He taught me so much about basketball but he also taught me so many life lessons. North Andover basketball is losing a great coach and a great man.”
On a personal note: Thank you, Mike, not only for what you did for Kyle but for what you did for the North Andover basketball program. Your stamp will be on the program forever. You not only brought kids together, but you assured that they will remain together for many years to come.
Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!