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Andy Kostecka

Sport: Basketball

Born: February 10, 1921

Died: January 17, 2007

Town: Bloomfield

Andrew Kostecka was born February 10, 1921 in Newark. Andy’s parents had emigrated from Russia and he spoke fluent Russian. The family moved to Bloomfield, where Andy grew to 6’3” and became a high-scoring forward for Bloomfield High School. He attracted attention from several schools but chose to attend Georgetown after taking a year off after graduation. He joined the Hoyas freshman squad in 1940–41, which won 16 of 17 games. Their only loss was to a team of ex-pros stationed in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Andy became the star of the varsity in 1942–43 as a sophomore. Playing beside John Mahnken on a team that started four sophomores and was nicknamed the Kiddie Korps, he averaged 15 points a game and helped the Hoyas forge a 16–3 record before he was drafted in February. Georgetown still made it to the NCAA Final, but could not keep pace with Wyoming. Had Andy been in uniform, there is little doubt that the Hoyas would have been national champions.

During the war, Andy served in the Pacific and served on General MacArthur’s staff as a Russian interpreter. In the days after the second atomic bomb was dropped, he was among the first group of soldiers to enter Nagasaki.

Andy returned to Georgetown in 1946 and picked up where he left off. Tougher and more muscular, he upped his scoring to a team-high 17.8 points per game. The following season, he was named captain of the team. During a road trip, Andy complained bitterly that coach Elmer Ripley “hated his guts” and suggested that he was forcing him to play through an injury. He had just broken Georgetown’s career scoring record against Notre Dame when he was dismissed from the team.

Andy was drafted by the Indianapolis Jets of the Basketball Association of America in 1948. The team went 18–42. Andy averaged about 7 points a game. The Jets went out of business that summer after the BAA merged with the NBL, which already had a team in Indianapolis.

Andy retied from basketball and went back into military intelligence during the Korean War, analyzing Russian troop movements. After Korea, he went to work for the CIA until 1969, when he transferred to the Department of Commerce. Where he became an expert on franchising and franchise law. Andy retired in 1989 and passed away at age 85 in 2007 in Bethesda.

 

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