Written By: Jack Zampillo ’18
Men of Edmund are called to serve.
To serve the community, the school, and it’s people.
Sean O’Reilly, Class of 2008, answered his call to service at an early age and hasn’t looked back.
Following his time at Rice, Sean attended St. Ambrose University on a basketball scholarship. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, he made the ultimate leap of faith by joining the United States Army in 2013.
O’Reilly served three and a half years as a Cavalry Scout specializing in reconnaissance, stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia. Tours in Europe, training with NATO allies, and representing his home country made for “the best experience” he’s ever had.
“I always knew I wanted to serve [in the military],” O’Reilly said. “Both of my grandfathers served during World War II, along with many of my uncles. Serving in the military is an honorable accomplishment in my family. I felt like I owed it to them.”
“I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world,” he emphasized.
After completing his stint with the U.S. Army, O’Reilly was certain he wanted to be an active member of the Brother Rice community.
“Being a Crusader is everything to me,” he said. “I wanted to be able to come back to help give students the same experience I had.”
Therefore, O’Reilly joined Bobby Frasor’s staff in November of 2016 as an assistant coach to the basketball team, relishing the opportunity to give back to the school and sport that has always meant so much to him.
“Playing basketball [at Rice] was a huge part of my experience as a student. I love being able to share my knowledge of the game while learning from someone as credentialed as Coach Frasor.”
Another life-long goal of Sean’s came to fruition in April of 2019, when he became a Chicago police officer.
“I was taught to serve others from a young age. Being a police officer allows me to carry out that service to the people and city of Chicago,” O’Reilly said. “It’s challenging. Every day is different and unique in its own way, but it’s fulfilling. To have a successful life, you have to be able to give back.”
Sean’s energy and commitment to service is shown through the time and energy he gives to the basketball program and Brother Rice as a whole.
What advice would you give to current students?
“Take life one day at a time. Give your one hundred percent effort in anything you do and live in the present. Take advantage of everything Brother Rice has to offer you.”
“There’s nothing like playing in front of a full crowd of Crusader Crazies; also, going down state for baseball my junior year. We were all juniors and not expected to make it very far, but we wound up finishing in 4th.”