By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
St. Joseph native and amateur golf legend Brad Nurski was humbled when he found out that he’ll be officially inducted into the St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame later this year.
"Gratitude, honored and all of those big words you associate with something like this," Nurski told KFEQ Radio. "It's just a special thing. After years of hard work, it's very gratifying and I'm very thankful to the St. Joseph Sports Commission for the honor."
Nurski is one of 10 individuals who will be inducted into the St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame on August 27.
One can argue Nurski started making his case for the Hall back in his Benton High School days, where he was a four-time MEC Conference Champion in the mid 1990s. Mike Ziesel coached Nurski in both basketball and golf. Ziesel could tell even then - special things were in store for Nurski.
"He definitely was one of, if not the best golfer that came out of Benton High School," Ziesel said. "I mean, you've seen all of the accomplishments he's made since then."
Nurski says Ziesel likely taught him the most valuable lessons on the basketball court.
"As far as basketball goes, (Ziesel) is very well respected in that regard," Nurski said. "He was very instrumental in being a good basketball coach, but also a good leader and person you can look up to."
Nurski went to Missouri Western, where he was a three-time All-MIAA selection and All-Region twice. He also became the first Griffon to qualify for NCAA Regionals as an individual. He was later inducted into the Missouri Western Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.
Nurski is now a 14-time Fairview Club Champion, seven-time St. Joseph Country Club Champion and winner of 13 local club invitationals. He’s won 10 Missouri Golf Association Championships, including the Missouri Amateur three times - most recently in 2018.
Nurski has competed many times nationally and internationally, including a runner-up finish in the USGA Mid-Amateur in 2014. He was one spot away from the Masters.
"In 2014, I lost in the finals," he said of that tournament. "I was very close to making the Masters, but it just didn't go my way that day. That's another experience you can take and put in the memory bank for the rest of your life and lean on that experience to continue to get better."
Nurski is still active in his career. He competed for Team USA in the prestigious Concession Cup this past year at The Real Club Valderama in Spain, helping the Americans win in come from behind fashion.
Nurski also started his coaching career last year. He was named the assistant men’s and women’s golf coach for Missouri Western, helping the women’s team and men’s golfer Marius Dosiere to NCAA tournament berths this past spring.
Nurski says he and head coach Matt Thrasher have high hopes for the future. Perhaps that’s no coincidence, since Thrasher also played golf and basketball under Coach Ziesel in the South Side back in the day.
"We're just going to continue to get better," Nurski said. "Matt's mentality is the same as mine. We don't like to lose. I think that kind of comes from Coach Ziesel, honestly. The South End mentality."
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