When looking at colleges to attend, Steve Callahan wanted to go to a school with good academics and he wanted the chance to play basketball. Coming out of Hinsdale, Illinois, Callahan says that not many schools in the Midwest fit his criteria.
So Callahan looked eastward to find the place that would be right for him.
“Lehigh just felt like the right place for me. Everything was perfect," he says. "I also looked at Colgate and Dartmouth, but in the end, Lehigh had everything that I wanted.”
Now, in his senior season, Callahan will graduate with a 3.41 GPA in a dual major of finance and marketing.
But he may not be ready to trade in his high tops and practice jersey for wing tips and a business suit just yet.
“I have sent out my resume and will continue looking for a job in business, but I would love to stay in basketball and get a job in some capacity with something to do with the game of basketball,” he says.
Callahan, who is a self-proclaimed “hoops junkie,” says that his dream job would be the general manager of a professional basketball team. “I could be around basketball all the time. I love the game so much. I really want to get into the player development and recruiting aspect of the game.”
Callahan has already begun his journey, and has seen a good deal of success in the early going. “One of my friends from high school, G.J. King, and I started a Web site that is totally devoted to scouting potential pro prospects. It has always been a hobby of mine, to watch basketball and learn everything I can about the players.
“The website has been quite a success, with (Dallas Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban having sent us e-mails complimenting us on how nice of a job we do scouting the players and making so much information available to the public.”
Graduate assistant coach Nathan Jameson sees the amount of time and effort that Callahan puts into the Web site first-hand. “Steve loves the game of basketball," Jameson says. "The opening night of college basketball this season, he told me that it took him over an hour just to look through the box scores in the paper. He just loves to study the game of basketball. His intelligence from the classroom carries over to all of the other things that he does with his life.”
This season, Callahan has been asked to make the switch from shooting guard to power forward. That may not sound like much, but at 6’4” and only 200 pounds, he will be at a disadvantage every time he steps on the floor, having to go up against taller and heavier players.
However, he has welcomed the change. “Playing down low is more suited towards my nature,” Callahan says. “When I was in high school, our team sent everyone to the boards, so I was used to always banging down low. I am probably pound-for-pound the strongest guy on our team, so it doesn’t bother me to mix it up and fight for rebounds underneath. I just try and be smart when I play by gaining good position and helping the team however I can.”
Callahan says that Coach Billy Taylor’s strict regimen and schedule have tied in perfectly with the business training he receives in class.
“Coach Taylor has everything set down to the second, with meetings, practices and even meals. It is very organized and very business oriented, so it is only going to help me when I have to go out into the business world.”
What if a coaching opportunity presented itself to Callahan?
“I would love to do what coach Jameson does, by taking classes and getting my foot in the door of coaching. It just comes easy to me, the teaching aspect of basketball. When we get our scouting reports on opposing teams, I can look through it once and have everything memorized. I pick that stuff up very quickly. It’s very interesting and fun for me.”
After last season’s remarkable turnaround, Callahan predicts more surprises from this year's team. “Last season, we had four senior starters with a great deal of experience. This season, we have a totally different team, with such a different level of experience. But, we have lots of talent and we’ll continue to work hard. I expect us to compete in the Patriot League and surprise some people again all season long.”