ELMHURST – York forward Frank Toohey decided on his college of choice, a school where two of his passions intersected.
Toohey, who is entering his senior year for the Dukes, committed last week to play basketball for Air Force.
“Air Force is a perfect place: academics and athletics,” Toohey said. “I’m going to get the opportunity to play in the Mountain West, which is one of the most competitive conferences in the country. I’m also going to get the opportunity to major in aerospace engineering, which is something I really wanted to do.”
After Toohey graduates he would have to fulfill a five-year service requirement. Toohey described the aerospace engineering major as broad, but one possible career path involves building the next fighter jets.
“It’s something I was always interested in since I was a little kid,” he said. “It’s a passion of mine.”
Building the planes is great, but what about flying them? There is a potential hangup on Toohey ever doing his Tom Cruise “Maverick” impression.
“It depends on if I fit,” he said. “They said maybe. I might try and fly, but I don’t know yet. There’s a certain height limit.”
Toohey said the campus was breathtaking and the opportunity to develop his leadership skills and take on the challenge of academics at a service academy made it too good to pass up.
On the basketball side, Toohey will take over as York’s top player this winter with guard David Cohn now at Colorado State. When Toohey arrives at Colorado Springs for the 2014-15 school year, Cohn will be a familiar face and an in-state Mountain West foe.
“I just talked to him about it,” Toohey said. “We go from playing in Chicago together to going up against each other out in Colorado. It’s funny how things happen, but it will be fun. A nice little rivalry there.”
Toohey said Air Force runs a Princeton-style offense with a lot of reads and backdoor cuts. That means he will have to move well off the ball, pass well and score both inside and outside.
Regardless of the system he is in, he will be living out a childhood dream of being a Division I basketball player.
“It’s fun to think about,” Toohey said. “Ever since I was a little kid that’s what you dream about. I’m blessed to have it come true.”