James McKirchy (’64) – Basketball
Only 1 basketball player in the 51-year history of the school has ever been named the county’s Player of the Year. That man is Jim McKirchy.
In his senior year, 1964, Jim McKirchy averaged 26 points per game leading Columbus to a South County championship. The 6-4 center was never held below double figures and was held to less than 20 points in only 3 of the Explorers 20 games. He scored 30 or more points in six game and this was back before there were 3-pointers. He scored a school record 42 points in a game against Jackson and had a school record 27 rebounds in a game against Palmetto.
His shooting percentage for the year was .612 with an average of 19 rebounds a game.
Jim won a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame where he played for 4 years. His most memorable game at Notre Dame was a 1968 game at the NIT in New York City vs. Army on St. Patricks Day. The Coach of Army was a man named Bobby Knight and Bobby Knight’s point guard that day was Mike Sheshefsky. Notre Dame won the game in overtime and Jim had six points.
Today, Jim lives with his wife Paula in Scottsdale Arizona, where Jim is a credit manager for a financial firm. They have been married 40 years and they have two children.