Former EHS boys’ basketball star stays in the game as a media analyst, teacher
The final decade of the 20th century was arguably the Golden Era in Everett High School (EHS) athletics, and it all started with the return of former Crimson Tide athlete John DiBiaso. DiBiaso put the Tide’s football and boys’ basketball programs on the radar of teams that dominated opponents. There was nothing like playing Peabody on a Friday night during the fall and winter seasons. It seemed as if first place in the Greater Boston League would inevitably be decided between those two schools.
Everett’s success on the gridiron and on the court would have a trickle-down effect on the other sports at the high school, and as a result the school’s athletes were the personification of Everett Pride, including Pat Bradley, a legitimate boys’ basketball superstar who drew attention from numerous college recruiters, before he chose the University of Arkansas and its legendary Division 1 coach Nolan Richardson, who offered him a four-year scholarship to make his move to Little Rock.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 28 years since Bradley last suited up for the Tide wearing No. 11, before graduating in 1995.
Fond Everett memories
Even though it was almost 30 years ago, Bradley will never forget his Everett experience. He said, “First off, Coach DiBiaso was a huge part of my success. He showed us how to put in the hard work to get to our goals, and that took a year-round commitment. He would open the gym every day to make sure we had a place to work out, and it was open all day. He is a master motivator, and the best to ever do it. I was shooting in the Everett High gym one morning, and Coach told me he had to leave the gym to run a quick errand and he’d be right back. He told me not to leave the gym and keep shooting until he came back. Well, he wasn’t gone 30 minutes, it was three hours, but I stayed and kept shooting. He knew I would.”
The transition to college was smooth, because Richardson reminded him of DiBiaso. “I still talk with coach Nolan Richardson about once a month. He reminds me of coach DiBiaso. They have similar work ethics. He dedicates his entire life to making others better. Both coaches know how to help players get the most out of themselves. They are both are the greatest motivators, and [Richardson] is also simply the toughest guy in the toughest room, period,” Pat said.
Bradley’s best moment was probably the team’s run to the Boston Garden to make it to the state semifinals in 1994 against New Bedford, his junior year. “Although we didn’t win, it was still a special moment,” he said.
Bradley is now enjoying watching his stepson, Nico Chiulli, play high school sports in Melrose. “I enjoy watching him develop over the last few years in football and wrestling through hard work and dedication,” Pat said “I know both those things are paying off for him. He’s a two-way starter in football and a Middlesex League all-star wrestler going into his senior year at Melrose.”
“The lessons of a coach on and off the field haven’t changed since I ran around in shorts, and now I want to pass those attributes along to him and as many [kids] as possible. Kids are extremely influential, and we have to make sure we influence them in the right way. I had great positive influences in my life, and everyone else should too,” added the former Everett star.
Razorbacks shape Bradley’s future
At Arkansas, Bradley was a communications major, all because of Everett Community Television (ECTV) and its staff. “The great Jack McGrath and Bob Caramanica made their game broadcasts look and sound fun,” Pat said. “They always said to me that this could be for you.”
Bradley took those words to heart, while he also didn’t waste any time to break into the starting lineup on the men’s basketball team halfway through his freshman year. His academic decision paved the way for life after basketball. He retired from the sport after playing pro ball in Europe for Denmark and France and one year in the International Basketball League (IBL) for Rapid City, South Dakota. A torn ligament in his hip while playing for France made the decision to step away as an active player much easier.
The Everett native then returned to Little Rock, where he got into coaching during the 2004-05 season for the Arkansas Rim Rockers of the American Basketball Association (ABA), a minor league team made up of players still chasing their dreams. He was also an assistant coach in the D-League of the National Basketball Association (NBA) for two years.
In 2007, he combined his passion for basketball with his desire to work in broadcasting to become a commentator on the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Network. He also got into sports talk radio in Arkansas.
But in 2017, while maintaining the same schedule that also includes conducting youth basketball clinics in the offseason both in the Boston and Little Rock areas, he started to work remotely on the radio after returning home to be with family, when his sister, Samantha, was diagnosed with brain cancer. Samantha, a Nazareth Academy graduate, passed away in October 2018. She was only 30 years old.
Pat still lives on the North Shore. His parents, Richard (EHS Class of 1970) and Maryann (EHS Class of 1973), are also in the area, while older brother Richard, a 1992 EHS graduate, resides in Florida.
“My dad worked at Holy Cross Cemetery for years, and he also helped me with my work ethic, because he always set a good example,” said Pat.
Scouting the future
Despite being a kid from the Northeast, Bradley had the ability to catch the eye of college coaches throughout the country. Richardson first saw him play in a national Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) tournament at Wake Forest between his junior and senior years in Everett.
“I played really good in that tournament, and ended up getting offers from St. Bonaventure, Boston University and Northeastern University, but I ultimately chose to go to Arkansas,” Pat said. “It came down to the fact that I had a chance to play in a big-time league down South, but I was still homesick. I had to get used to all of the farms, cows and accents down there, but my parents told me I should stick with it, and coupled that with a few others saying that I’d never make it on that level it motivated me to stay with the Razorbacks, who were also coming off back-to-back Final Four appearances.”
In his first year there, he helped lead Richardson’s club as a freshman to the Sweet 16 in 1996, where one of the team’s tournament venues was close to home in Providence.
His playing and coaching career might be over, but basketball is still very much in his life. From October through March, he’s on the road covering games for the SEC Network. His work on sports radio runs all year long on 103.7 The Buzz in Little Rock, and also on the SiriusXM SEC channel 374. But in his free time, he’s been seen conducting youth basketball clinics again in the Boston and Little Rock areas. If you are interested in learning more about those clinics, feel free to email Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, Pat says Alabama is going to win this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. They still have four games to win, starting Friday night (March 24) against San Diego State at Louisville in a Sweet 16 encounter.