Bill Brosky cut his teeth on hardwood at St. John
By KARL PEARSON
Even when he was still of relatively tender years growing up in Ashtabula Township, Bill Brosky was a young man with a plan.
He displayed a level of knowledge and maturity uncommon for one of his meager years. Just ask his high school basketball coach at St. John, Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Famer Denny Berrier.
“The thing that always stood out to me about Bill was that he was always ahead of the curve in terms of his basketball knowledge and maturity,” Berrier said from his home in Columbus. “On the court, you didn’t have to tell him a whole lot. There wasn’t a whole lot of coaching necessary.
“I was almost as young as those kids at St. John were when I got the head coaching job. I was only 23 or 24 years old myself. I almost had to apologize to them because of my lack of knowledge.”
But Berrier was as impressed, if not more so, with Brosky’s acumen off the court.
“What was even more impressive about Bill to me, though, was that he was already thinking about going to dental school,” he said of Brosky, who eventually did so at John Carroll University and Ohio State University and has made dentistry his life’s work.
BILL BROSKY (22) of St. John was a member of the Star Beacon All-Ashtabula County first team for basketball in his junior and senior years was St. John's . In his junior year, he was joined by Geneva's Ernie Pasqualone (23) and Conneaut's Tim Humphrey (31), Pymatuning Valley's Carl McIlwain (41) and Ashtabula's Marvin Jones (32). Brosky will join Pasqualone as a member of the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame on April 10.
If he was and is nothing else, Brosky has always been a realist. He may have been thinking ahead to his career even before he got to high school, but he was also smart enough when he got the final dose of reality not to brood about it, but move on to the next step.
“I played freshman basketball at John Carroll and I kind of realized I wasn’t going to make a living playing basketball,” the 1974 St. John graduate said.
So he really buckled down to his studies at JCU, got his undergraduate degree in 1978, then went on to Ohio State and got the remainder of his studies completed there.
Brosky had set basketball so much on the back burner that his career, especially at St. John, had almost faded from his memory. But those who saw him run the court at what is now known as Mahoney Gymnasium didn’t forget. So he was certainly surprised when he was informed of his induction into the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame on April 10.
“I hadn’t really thought about it much,” the 54-year-old Brosky said on a recent visit to Ashtabula. “I knew my friend, Jerry Lamm, had been working on something like this, but it was really exciting to find out I was being inducted.
“It’s a very nice honor. That was all a long time ago. It’s very humbling when you consider joining guys that you played with and against back then. It’s also a reality check on how old I’m getting.”
Brosky certainly has the credentials. While playing for Berrier in his junior and senior years, he earned first-team Star Beacon All-Ashtabula County honors. He was also part of the first St. John team to earn a Class A sectional championship in his senior year of 1973-74 with a team that also included Herald athletic standouts like Steve Abraham and Jack Manyo, as well as teammates like Dave Clint, Lou Valentic, who has gone on to prominence in the business side of sports, and Lamm. He also played a significant role as a sophomore for Paul Kopko, who is more known for his exploits as a football coach.
“Bill was unstoppable,” Berrier said. “We actually put in a few things for him offensively to make sure he got the ball as much as possible. When he got on a roll, he was lights out.
“Unquestionably, Bill is worthy of the Hall of Fame. And Bill was as good a person off the court as he was on it. He was a great young man. I always like to talk about great people, and Bill was.
“I knew Bill even before he got to St. John, and I couldn’t have asked for any more of him,” Berrier said. “He was such a sharp thinker, even before he went off to college.”
Berrier can’t emphasize enough his general esteem for Brosky.
“I knew Bill was going to be a productive adult,” he said. “He always seemed to be a step ahead.”