FAIRBANKS—Derek and Pamela Broderick won’t have to worry about travel expenses to watch their daughter, Josie, play women’s college basketball. She’ll be competing for the Alaska Nanooks of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Josie Broderick, a standout forward for the North Pole High School girls team, took advantage of the NCAA early signing period to commit Thursday to the Nanooks of the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
The modest, 5-foot-10 senior got exposure to college coaches while playing on summer traveling teams, including with the Alaska Lady Hoops this year. Broderick, though, had her heart set on being a Nanook ever since 2006, when she played for Fairbanks Grizzlies youth program’s sixth-grade team. That squad was coached by Keenan Hollister, her current coach at North Pole.
“I’ve wanted to go to UAF because it’s in my hometown and I thought it would be super cool to play in front of your hometown and the people who have watched you grow up playing,’’ Broderick said after signing her National Letter of Intent during Thursday’s ceremony in the North Pole High School library.
Broderick, who carries a 3.83 grade point average, wore a blue Nanooks t-shirt during the ceremony. She was joined at a table by her parents and Hollister, and teammates, North Pole administrators and teachers and friends looked on.
Among the people who watched Broderick grow as a player are her parents, who plan to be at every Nanooks home game in the Patty Center from the 2013-14 to 2016-17 seasons.
“I know a lot of people that when they go out of state (to play college basketball), their parents can’t always go to all of their games. My parents have always been supportive of my games,’’ said Broderick. “For them be able to go to my college games is going to be great.”
Broderick, who has two brothers — Chad, 21, and Cody, 20 — also was attracted to her future college team because Alaska head coach Cody Burgess was herself a Nanook, a power forward from 2002-05.
“She’s been around that school and she has a better understanding of it now that’s she’s the coach,” said Broderick, who plans to major in business.
Broderick, a three-time All-Mid Alaska Conference selection and two-time Class 4A all-state honoree, got a better understanding of the Nanooks by working out with them during her campus visit.
“I only practiced with the girls for about an hour or so, but all the girls were really super nice — and she’s (Burgess) super nice,’’ Broderick said. “It just seems like she has a really well-rounded team.”
The Nanooks are getting a well-rounded player in Broderick, the holder of five North Pole single-season records.
“She’s a battler out there, she’s a leader by example,” said Hollister, who’s entering his second season with the Patriots. “She’s just a sharpshooter and with her length and athleticism, she’s a fantastic rebounder.”
Among Broderick’s single-season marks are for North Pole 267 rebounds, 65 blocks and 105 free throws made. Broderick has started in all 78 games she’s played for North Pole, compiling 982 points and 671 rebounds, for averages of 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
NOTES: The Fairbanks Grizzlies sixth-grade team in 2006 included current West Valley senior forward Hannah Mattson, who on Wednesday signed an NCAA Division I letter with the University of Portland. ... Valdez senior guard Alex Derifield, one of Broderick’s Alaska Lady Hoops teammates, signed Thursday with Fort Lewis College, a Division II program in Durango, Colo.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.