With a combined 32 games under .500 record in its last ten seasons, times were not good for the basketball program at Georgetown in the fall of 1940. According to the Ye Domesday Booke, it was a "foregone conclusion" that Georgetown would de-emphasize or even drop basketball by 1942 if the losing ways continued. Coach Elmer Ripley looked to a young guard from Staten Island to change the Hoyas' fortunes.
Buddy O'Grady grew up in Staten Island, attending St. Peter's HS there, and his guard play helped turn around the Georgetown program. Never a prolific scorer, it was O'Grady's three years of starting experience that helped lead the Hoyas through three challenging seasons. O'Grady helped lead a young georgetown squad through a difficult eight win season in 1940 before the Hoyas exploded to a 16-4 record in 1941, narrowly missing the NCAA and NIT tournaments. His 14 points against Army was a season high. In 1942, facing an upgraded national schedule that
included LIU, Marquette, and DePaul, the Hoyas finished under .500, while o'Grady finished five points short of the scoring title.
"In Buddy O'Grady, Georgetown loses one of the greatest basketball players ever to trod on the Ryan Gym floor, and there have been many," wrote Ye Domesday Booke. "[Over his years] he has undoubtedly been the best basketball player in the District of Columbia."
After enrolling in the service during World War II, O'Grady was sought by Red Auerbach to join his Washington Capitols, which finished 49-11 in 1947. O'Grady enjoyed a three year pro career beginning with the Capitols and the Rochester Royals, now the NBA's Sacramento Kings. He retired from pro basketball to succeed Elmer Ripley as head coach at Georgetown from 1948 through 1952.
Buddy O'Grady was enshrined in the inaugural class of the Georgetown University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1958.