Class of 2021
Tom Kleinschmidt

Chicago native Tom Kleinschmidt emerged as a basketball standout during his time at Gordon Tech High School, now known as DePaul College Prep, from 1987 to 1991. Graduating as the school’s leading scorer and rebounder, Kleinschmidt garnered recognition as a two-time All-State selection and a McDonald’s High School All-American, guiding the Rams to the finals of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Basketball Tournament in 1990. Opting to stay close to home, Kleinschmidt continued his basketball journey at DePaul University, where he earned acclaim as a three-time, first-team All Great Midwest Conference player. Setting numerous records, he became the first Blue Demon to be named Conference Player of the Year and to accumulate over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists, 100 steals, and 100 three-pointers. His legacy at DePaul includes ranking 6th all-time in scoring with 1,837 points and 10th all-time in assists with 386. Following his collegiate career, Kleinschmidt ventured into professional basketball, playing in Italy, Venezuela, and Japan. In Japan, he left an indelible mark, leading the league in assists, scoring, steals, and earning League MVP honors multiple times. Transitioning to coaching a decade ago, Kleinschmidt has amassed an impressive career record of 205-91 as a Head Boys Basketball coach. His coaching prowess has been recognized with multiple Chicago Catholic League Anthony Lawless Awards and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of The Year Awards. Notably, he was named the USA Today Illinois Coach of The Year across all sports and the 2021 Sun-Times High School Coach of the Year. Under Kleinschmidt’s guidance, the DePaul Prep Boys Basketball program has consistently ranked in the top 25 in the state, securing six consecutive IHSA Regional Championships and a Third-Place finish in the 2019 season. Recently, the Rams claimed victory in the Chipotle Clash of Champions, earning a #1 ranking in Illinois and #23 nationally. Kleinschmidt’s contributions to basketball have been celebrated with inductions into the Gordon Tech Hall of Fame, Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame, Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame, and the DePaul University Hall of Fame. Alongside his wife Cassandra, he cherishes family life with their daughter, Ryan.

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