Kevin Lisch: From Saint Louis to Australia

So, who exactly is Kevin Lisch? He’s the sixth all-time leading scorer in the history of the Saint Louis University Billikens. He’s a native of Illinois. And he spent most of his professional basketball career playing in Australia.

Lisch played for Australia in the Olympics, and for the same squad that LaMelo Ball wound up with before entering the NBA. Not at the same time, though.

Lisch spent the final four years with the Sydney Kings of the NBL before announcing his retirement earlier in 2020. Let’s take a look back at his career.

The Saint Louis Days

During his four years with the Billikens, Kevin Lisch played for two coaches. He played under Brad Soderberg from 2005-07. Rick Majerus took over in 2007, and coached Lisch for his final two campaigns. Majerus’ role in this story is just beginning, though. More on that later.

If you like good shooters, then you’d have loved watching Lisch. He made 259 threes over his four years at Saint Louis, shooting a shade under 40%. He averaged 14 points per game over 123 appearances, 113 of which were starts.

He was also known as a feisty defender, making All A-10 Defensive Team on two occasions. He was selected as the A-10 Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the year in 2008-09 as a senior.

Lisch scored 1,687 points at Saint Louis, good for #6 in program history. His 259 made threes are the second most. He was inducted into the SLU Hall of Fame.

How Rick Majerus Led Lisch to Australia

Simply put, Kevin Lisch’s basketball career would be very different if he didn’t play for Rick Majerus. Thanks to a relationship that Majerus had with Perth Wildcasts coach Rob Beveridge, Lisch went to go play for them in Australia’s NBL. Lisch would average 16-3-3 over 56 games with the Wildcats over two years. He was league MVP in 2012.

Lisch’s wife Rachel was introduced to him by Rob Beveridge, of all people. Rick Majerus not only had a connection that helped Lisch not only get his professional basketball career launched, but his family as well. Crazy how things can just work out like that, huh?

Playing Days After Perth

Over the next four years, Lisch bounced around several teams. He played in France, Puerto Rico and Spain, finding that his production was dropping significantly. After being a consistent scoring threat in his time playing for Perth, his playing time and scoring both dropped off.

After finding his way back to Australia to play in the NBL again, Lisch became an Australian citizen in 2016. He would also make it onto Australia’s 2016 FIBA World Cup roster. He became the first Saint Louis University Olympic basketball player in 52 years. Pete McCaffrey in 1964 had been the last one.

Lisch didn’t impress, averaging fewer than three points per game. But, he appeared in every game. He had seven points in Australia’s first win against France. And he pulled down six rebounds in the bronze medal game against Spain.

Not bad for a kid from Belleville, Illinois huh?

Back to Australia

The 2015-16 season saw Lisch playing for the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks, where LaMelo Ball played before being the #2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. And, this was the best statistical season of Lisch’s career, college included.

Lisch averaged 20-4-4, shooting 51% from the floor and 43% from three. He became the sixth player to win multiple NBL MVP’s with his efforts in that season. The team finished first at 17-11, but bowed out to his old Perth Wildcats squad in the semifinals.

After turning down an extension with the Hawks, he opted to join the Sydney Kings. Lisch’s final four seasons as a professional hooper were spent there. After averaging 17 points per game in his first year, his production dropped off, averaging just 11 ppg the season after.

After averaging 14 ppg in the 2018-19 season, Lisch got some bad news. He was already struggling last season, but then he suffered an ankle injury. He had a pre-existing condition in his ankle, and after undergoing surgery, multiple medical specialists advised him to avoid further impact activities.

And just like that, Lisch’s career was finished. A 2X NBL MVP. Saint Louis Hall-of-Famer. Olympian. Three-point marksmen at every level. Not bad at all.

Thank You, Kevin

Shoutout to Kevin Lisch on a fantastic basketball career. I’ll miss watching him shoot the lights out of every gym he plays in.