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  Friday, March 27, 2015
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xtra xtra!
It's Always for the Kids
By Kevin Devlin

     Mike Donovan enjoys volunteering his time and having his son James help out

     He grew up in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester where he played CYO basketball and baseball. He also played football in the junior park league for the Comerford Club, and remembers playing against teams from Eastie, Roxbury, and Southie, especially the South Boston Mustangs.

     He made the transition from Dorchester to Southie a couple of decades ago and (like others) has been fortunate to grow up in Savin Hill and spend his latter years in another great community.  

     He was elected to the office of Clerk of Superior Clerk in 1976 and has held this office ever since then.

     In the evenings and weekends for the past twenty-one years, he has taught law classes at the New England College of Law.

     And, he still finds time to volunteer his time to the Gate of Heaven CYO basketball program.

     His name is Michael Donovan.

     Mike has been busy in the Gatey CYO hoop program for the past five seasons. During the winter hoop season, he helps Gatey Instructional League Commissioner Sean Monahan with the newcomers, the seven through nine year olds, who are just beginning their journey into the world of hoop. Mike also coaches the P.S. Deli Club in the midget house league.

      His son James, once a midget league player, and now a freshman at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, has moved up to the cadet league. James is now a volunteer in the midget league. He assists his dad in coaching and helps out by scoring and timing.  

     Last June, James was the recipient of the Reverend A. Paul White CYO Award, an award “presented to a student-athlete whose life reflects how Father White lived with a sense of caring not about one’s self, but always caring about others.”

     Like James, Mike cares about others. Mike’s philosophy is simple and down to earth. Teach the youngsters the fundamentals. Play the game and have fun. And if you win on this level, it’s a bonus. It’s a plus because winning isn’t what it’s all about as far as Mike is concerned. He makes sure every kid gets his fair share of playing time so that all the players feel as being an integral part of the team. It’s about building character. It’s always for the kids.

     Although winning isn’t everything, an exhilarating victory is always rewarding and welcomed, as well as readily remembered. One of Mike’s favorite coaching moments, a thrilling win indeed, occurred two years ago during the playoffs. His team was losing by a point, but mighty Matt Kehoe was fouled as time expired. Matt walked calmly to the line and sunk both pressure-packed free throws to win the tilt. The dramatic and nail-biting outcome was thrilling for the players, parents, and coaches.

     Mike’s time spent in the Gatey program is greatly appreciated. Gatey Athletic Director Kevin Lally is one person who respects what he does for the kids.

     “Mike is just another example of how fortunate we are,” said Lally. “We are lucky to have such dedicated volunteers who teach the fundamentals, but who also teaches values while trying to instill some character into our student-athletes. That’s what it is all about.”

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Mike Donovan and his young son James enjoy volunteering their time for the local hoop program.