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Grand Rapids Native Father Pete McCormick is Chaplain for the Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Team [Video]

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All eyes are on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

If you look closely you may find a familiar face on Notre Dame’s bench.

Father Pete McCormick, a Grand Rapids native, is Chaplain for the Notre Dame men’s basketball team.

Father Pete is a 1995 graduate of West Catholic High School.

As Chaplain, Father Pete McCormick celebrates Mass with the Notre Dame men’s basketball team before most games. He is also the Director of Campus Ministry, a position he assumed this year at Notre Dame, after having served in many other roles at the university.

Turns out he’s a pretty good basketball player too.

Basketball has been a part of Father Pete’s life for a long time.  He played basketball while he was a student at West Catholic High School. describes Father Pete’s playing days:

While at WC Fr. Pete was a two year starter on the varsity basketball team, he was named captain his senior year, led the team in rebounds as a senior and was named to the 1995 All-City Basketball team. Current Boys Basketball Head Coach Tony Fischer played with Fr. Pete in high school and said, “He was an awesome person. Worked his butt off every day.”

He can STILL play according Notre Dame players and staff.

In the video below, players and coaches talk about Father Pete and his game. Father Pete is described as being a “pretty good basketball player”, his left-handed jumper is “pretty nice”, and “there’s not a more competitive guy”.

Also in the video, Father Pete talks about playing basketball as a priest and how being a priest only works to his advantage for a couple of points.  Father Pete says:

After I drop a few elbows in the gut, they are no longer in concern that they are playing a priest and just want to win the game.

Basketball has even had an effect on Father Pete’s DJ career. Yes, he’s a DJ too. Father Pete has DJ’d weddings as “DJ McSwish”. sums up what Father Pete means to the Notre Dame men’s basketball team:

A friend and mentor to the Irish players, a baller with a deadly mid-range jump shot, and a music aficionado who’s been known to sing along with the tunes on the team bus, he’s constantly brightening the lives of those who know him.

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