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The late Pat Broderick might have been Bishop Fallon's best athlete ever

For a small Catholic boys-only high school, Bishop Fallon had more than its share of standout athletes. There was former major league shortstop Jack Kubiszyn and Alex Garrow, a Monsignor Martin Athletic Association scoring phenom who led Fallon to its only Manhattan Cup basketball championship in 1956. Both went on to play at the University of Alabama.

The best Fallon Flyer of all, in the school's 25 years of existence, may have been Pat Broderick, who died on May 2 at age 77.

An All-Catholic quarterback in 1960 despite the undermanned Flyers going only 3-4, he engineered big wins over Canisius and Cardinal Dougherty. Broderick might have become Notre Dame's starting quarterback. Instead he ended up playing three seasons as a basketball guard at Niagara University.

In basketball, Broderick was the leading scorer in the Burke Division of the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association as a senior in 1960-61, averaging 21.1 points on a team that went 9-9. In three seasons as a Flyer, he scored 682 points for coach Mort O'Sullivan's teams.

Broderick went on to complete his secondary education at Bordentown Military Academy in New Jersey. His roommate there was future Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little.

Little and Broderick made a recruiting visit together to Notre Dame, coached at the time by Joe Kuharich. They both were turned off by Kuharich and left the South Bend, Ind., campus looking elsewhere to go to college. Kuharich's time at Notre Dame was soon to end; he was eventually succeeded by Ara Parseghian, who soon restored the Fighting Irish to their usual place among college football's best. Still, Broderick's stubbornness cost him a chance to play for college football fame at Notre Dame.

"Pat was his own guy. He could be a hard-head," said his brother Michael, who is 82, and retired after serving as a Buffalo City Court judge for 28 years.

Broderick went on to Niagara to play for legendary coach John "Taps" Gallagher. As a sophomore, he averaged 11.6 points per game as a starting guard. A knee injury limited him to 12 games in his junior season, but he averaged 11.9 points for the 4-17 Purple Eagles in what turned out to be Gallagher's last season.

As a senior and team captain, Broderick played only 12 games, averaging 6.3 points. Local legend says that his playing time was curtailed because of an issue with new Niagara coach Jim Maloney in a basketball tournament at the Butler-Mitchell Boys Club.

Overall, in 44 varsity games at Niagara, Broderick scored 451 points.

Butler-Mitchell was the original club on Virginia Street where Pat and Michael first learned to play basketball. They grew up on Buffalo's West Side and their father was a custodian at Immaculate Conception Church.

Michael Broderick joined the Marine Corps after high school, but when he returned home, he went to Buffalo State, where he played three years on the varsity. He averaged 13 points a game for his first two seasons, before a knee injury limited him to eight games in 1963-64, Pat's sophomore season at Niagara. The West Side was anticipating a backcourt duel between the brothers when Niagara came to town to face Buffalo State at the old Houston Gym. The fraternal encounter never happened, though.

"I wanted to play," Michael recalled. "Howie Myers, our trainer, taped my leg up really good but they wouldn't let me play. I went out for the introductions but did not play."

Niagara, led by Pat Broderick, won, 55-44.

A father of five, Broderick lived in Williamsville. He spent most of his adult career in commercial real estate, including many years in Tops Markets' real estate division. Even in his middle-age years, Broderick stayed active in basketball, playing at local YMCA courts where he gained a reputation as a tough competitor in pickup and league games and more than held his own against much younger competitors.

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