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Althoff grad Kevin Lisch named MVP of Australia’s National Basketball League

Belleville native and Althoff High School graduate Kevin Lisch scores for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League. Lisch was named the league’s most valuable player for the second time in his professional career.
Belleville native and Althoff High School graduate Kevin Lisch scores for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League. Lisch was named the league’s most valuable player for the second time in his professional career. Courtesy Illawarra Hawks

Former Althoff High and St. Louis University star Kevin Lisch, now playing professionally in Australia, on Wednesday was named Most Valuable Player of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL).

The 29-year-old Illawarra Hawks guard from Belleville won his second NBL MVP award, receiving the Andrew Gaze Trophy for his efforts. He also won the league MVP award in 2012, but this time won it after a two-year stint playing professionally in Europe.

Lisch also won the NBL Defensive Player of the Year award and was selected to the All-NBL first team. He ranks fifth in the league in scoring at 20.4 points per game, led the league in steals (1.8 per game) and was seventh in assists (3.6 per game).

Lisch was signed by his former coach with the Perth Wildcats, Rob Beveridge. His 93 MVP votes were more than Chris Goulding (84) from Melbourne United, Hawks teammates A.J. Ogilvy and Kirk Penney and Adelaide guard Jerome Randle (82 votes each).

Lisch has helped lead Illawarra to the NBL semifinals and the Hawks will face Perth on Friday.

In 2010, Lisch won the Grand Final MVP award for helping lead Perth to the league championship.

“The best way to describe Kevin Lisch is that he is a complete winner,” Beveridge told reporters when he signed Lisch in July. “He is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached and will bring some legitimate toughness to the team. His work ethic is outstanding and without doubt this will be infectious amongst his teammates.

“On top of this, Kev is an even better person off the court, and the Illawarra community will be privileged to have him representing the community.”

Lisch, a 2005 graduate of Althoff, averaged just under 14 points in four seasons at St. Louis University from 2005-09. Before that he was a two-time Belleville News-Democrat Player of the Year and an all-state selection for Althoff.

His father is Rusty Lisch, a former Belleville West football standout who went on to Notre Dame, then four seasons with St. Louis Cardinals and one more with the Chicago Bears.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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