Former Badger guard recalls scoring only career point
MADISON, Wis. (WKOW) -- John Brady is not in the University of Wisconsin history books. He never set or broke a record. He never won a championship.
Brady graduated from Madison East and played on UW's freshman team during the 1940-41 season, when the varsity team won the national championship under famed head coach Bud Foster.
"The following year," Brady said, "Bud Foster called me in and said to me, 'John, what school are you in?' And I proudly said I was in chemical engineering school. And Bud said, 'I think you'd make a good chemical engineer.' In other words, I wasn't good enough for that basketball team."
But 71 years ago, Brady did make the team.
"At that point, Bud Foster really needed bodies on the basketball floor," Brady said. "So, he invited me to come back out for the basketball team."
In his entire collegiate career as a Badger, Brady scored just one point.
"In March, I had orders to go on active duty in the navy," Brady said. "And Bud Foster knew this. So, he sent me into the basketball game against Minnesota. Fortunately, I was able to steal the ball, and dribbled in for supposedly a layup, but the guy hit me and knocked me into the third row of the bleachers. And I did make one free throw."
"We kind of teased him about it," said Brady's daughter Kathy Burnett of his one point. "When my daughter was playing basketball at Navy and she made her first basket, he was the first call, and he said, 'Well, Bets, you've outscored me already. No, go for a whole bundle."
In January, Brady's family brought him to the Kohl Center for his 92nd birthday to see Wisconsin take on Purdue.
"They didn't cheer my one point," said Brady. "But when they did hear I was 92 years old, and that, when I was playing, I was headed for the navy in World War II, then I got the standing ovation, and I was very, very pleased with that."
The night Brady's ship departed for war, they received a call that the Japanese had surrendered, and the war was over.
Brady went on to work in public utilities for 45 years, becoming the president of Wisconsin Gas Company.
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