Brodsky played for the great Harry Litwack at Temple University in the mid-1950s and helped the Owls make two Final Four appearances during his college career. Brodsky later taught and coached in Pennsylvania.
Birth and Death Dates:
After a stellar high school career at Overbrook in Philadelphia, where he was captain of the undefeated City Championship basketball team, Brodsky played at Temple University. In 1955-56, he was a member of the 23-3 Owl team that finished the regular season ranked No. 14 by UPI (No. 15 AP) and made the school's first NCAA Final Four appearance. Brodsky did not play in the tournament, and the Owls finished third. In 1956-57, Mel was named All-Big 5 (Philadelphia) and was a starter for the Temple team that ended the year 18-8 and finished third in the NIT (National Invitational Tournament). Brodsky averaged 13.7 points that season. That summer, he was a member of the U.S. basketball team that won a gold medal at the 1957 Maccabiah Games.
In 1957-58, Brodsky was outstanding. Mel was named All-America honorable mention, All-Big 5, and All-East, and led the Owls to a 24-2 record, a No. 5 ranking (AP and UPI), and another trip to the NCAA Final Four. Brodsky enjoyed a marvelous tournament. In the East Regional Semifinal he scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in the Owls' 71-67 victory over Maryland. In the East Final, Temple faced a tough Dartmouth team, led by All-Ivy Leaguers Chuck Kaufman and (future NBA All-Star) Rudy LaRusso. Brodsky scored 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and the Owls dispatched their opponents, 69-50, to reach the Final Four.
In the national semifinal game, Temple had the misfortune to play Kentucky in Louisville (a virtual home game for Kentucky). The two teams had played during the season with Temple losing in overtime (Brodsky scored 24 points in that game). In the Final Four game, which was played in front of a then-record crowd of 18,586 people, Brodsky was held to 4 points. He also grabbed 14 rebounds, but Temple blew a four-point lead with less than 90 seconds to play and Kentucky won the match, 61-60 (the winning basket was made with only 16 seconds left in the game). Temple rebounded to defeat Kansas State, 67-57, in the third place game, with Brodsky scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
That year, Brodsky was given the Spike Shandelman Award as the Outstanding Jewish Basketball Player. He was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA in 1958, and played professionally in the Eastern Pro League in 1959.
Brodsky played guard and forward at Temple from 1955-1958. He turned pro in 1959.
Use links below to navigate through the basketball section of Jews In Sports.
The Modern Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by Zander Hollander (New York: Doubleday, 1979)
Inside Sports Magazine: College Basketball, by Mike Douchant with Jim Nantz (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1997)
Ronald Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by William G. Mokray (Ronald Press: 1962)