YORK, PA – York College graduated senior guard Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) has inked a professional contract with Briedablik of the Icelandic Express League. The team is based out of Kopavogur, Iceland and is the country's second largest city and has a population of over 30,000 residents.
Brady's deal includes playing for Briedablik while he will also be coaching a youth team that comprises 16 and 17-year old players. That team has made championship appearances in the past two Arctic League finals.
Brady will be expected to make an immediate impact for the squad. He will man both the shooting guard and point guard positions. Brady is very excited to get to Iceland and start his professional career.
"To say I am thrilled to play professionally could be an understatement," says Brady. "Bottom line is that it is a dream come true. Every kid who grows up playing basketball wants to play professionally. However, if someone would have told me two years ago that I would be traveling across the Atlantic to continue my career one day I would have probably laughed at them. It just really is a joy to know that the hours and hours of work that I put into my game has truly paid off. Coaches and trainers are correct, those days of 1,000 shots and hours of lifting and training your body really are worth it in the end."
Brady, who earned NABC All-American honors for the Spartans last winter, had a brilliant senior year. He averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He shot 47.2% from the field, 41.3% from beyond the arc while he was a very consistent 84.7% from the charity stripe. Brady reached double figures in all 26 games this year including 13 20-plus points performances and a trio of 30-plus point contests. He recorded a career-high 36 points in the January 20 win at Mary Washington.
Brady was a two-year Spartan captain and closed out his career as one of eight Spartans to reach 1,500 career points. He finished his 104-game career with 1,524 points, 552 rebounds, 158 assists, and 87 steals. He was a 44.9% career shooter from the floor, 39.6% from three and 77.5% from the free throw line. Brady canned 218 threes in his career including 76 during his senior year. He is one of just two Spartans to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, and 200 three-point field goals. The other is Andy O'Brien who is also a Delone Catholic graduate and the Spartans' all-time leading scorer.
Brady finished the season first in free throw percentage, first in three point field goals made, second in scoring, third in defensive rebounds, third in three point field goal percentage, eighth in rebounding, and 14th in field goal percentage.
Brady feels blessed to be surrounded by great support.
"I think it is safe to say that this story would not have been possible without the people around me. The support that I have been blessed with is truly remarkable. And I am not just talking about with the overseas process. My mother and father were nothing short of magnificent my entire life, and the rest of my extended family has been extremely encouraging as well. I am also blessed to have an incredible girlfriend who has been very supportive. I was lucky to play for the coaches that I did, in Coach Dooley at Delone, and Coach Jeff and Coach Dean Gamber at York College. My relationship with all three coaches evolved from player-coach, to that of true friends. My teammates while at York College have been so instrumental as well, as I know basketball is a team game, and individually you can never succeed. No matter where I go I will always take a piece of York College with me, because without York College and those associated with it I would never be the player, or the person that I am today. Whether I am living in Iceland, or Australia, York College will always be my home."
Spartan head coach Jeff Gamber is thrilled for his All-American guard.
"It is a great opportunity for Nick and I am happy that he is going to take advantage of the chance to play professional basketball," says Gamber. "He is a kid who has worked very hard to make himself into a great player."
Brady is excited about getting the opportunity to coach and mentor young players, much in the way he was throughout his high school and college careers.
"I am excited to help younger players grow in the game of basketball," says Brady. "I want to basically take what Coach Gamber and Coach Dooley have done for me, and carbon copy it onto my teams. Not only in teaching the game like they did, but also teaching how to be a good person like they did. They always taught me being a great basketball player is important, but being a better teammate is above that, and being an even better person is what we strive for. I have been fortunate to be coached by not only great coaches, but great men. I want to be able to be a positive role model for the players I am coaching just like they were, and still are for me."
Brady is excited to see how his game measures up in the professional ranks.
"I am looking forward to seeing how I can evolve my game and take it to the next level. I must be honest, I have no idea what to expect. I had to adjust and tweak things in my game and body for the rigors of college play when leaving high school. Now I get to start this process over. I am blessed to be able to wake up every day with a reason to continue to strive and become a better player. That is fun to me, it is pretty much all I have known for 16 years. I know the areas that I need to work on, and this summer has been dedicated to improving those areas, and perfecting the already strong areas. I am just approaching it as a new challenge like I have everything in the past, and just hoping that my competitiveness and work ethic will take care of the rest. When it comes down to it, it is still the same game I played when I was 10 years old. It isn't about money, and it isn't about fame. It's about playing the game I love, and seeing the world while I do it."
Brady will be joined by a familiar face in Iceland as his girlfriend and former Spartan women's basketball standout Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston) has accepted a coaching position with the Briedablik girls program. Andrews, a 2009 York College grad, was a four-year letter winner for the Spartans and was a senior on the Spartans' 2008-09 NCAA Division III Sweet 16 squad.
"I am excited to get the chance to continue my coaching career," says Andrews. "The opportunity to get international coaching experience was too much to pass up."
Andrews coached at York Country Day last winter and is aspiring to work her way up the coaching ranks.
Spartan head coach Betsy Witman believes Andrews has the intangibles to make a very good coach.
"Amanda has the passion to be a great basketball coach and I am very glad to see her get an opportunity to coach internationally," says Witman. "This experience will serve her as she moves forward in her coaching career."
The Spartan duo heads to Iceland on September 1 to begin their professional endeavors.