John A. "Jack" Padden '41
Year Inducted: 1983
John A. "Jack" Padden '41 played a key role in basketball's golden era at Brown and has remained highly supportive of all its coaches and teams since graduation. In the four years between 1939 and 1942, the Bears won 53 games, lost 27, captured a N.E. title, and participated in the first NCAA Basketball Tournament. Jack Padden, a 6-2, 180-pound forward, first achieved success while playing for the McBurney School in New York City, where he was a two-time captain and was twice elected to the All-New York private school team. The success of Brown basketball in the late 1930s and early 1940s can be traced to the presence of Harry Platt, the finest player Brown had produced up to that time, and an excellent freshman team that went 11-1 in 1937-38 and even defeated the varsity in an exhibition game. Jack Padden was a member of that Cub team, along with Fran "Tank" Wilson, George Fisher, Bob Person, and George Davis. Brown's 1938-39 varsity was a perfect blend of seasoned veterans such as Capt. George Truman, Harry Platt, Len Campbell, and the sophomore contingent led by Jack Padden. No previous Brown team had boasted such talent, and the main problem facing Coach Eck Allen, as he moved up from the freshman ranks, was finding the right combination and getting it to function smoothly. After losing early-season games to a powerful Army team and URI in Kingston, Brown ran off eleven consecutive victories, including Duke (41-33), Rutgers (58-35), and URI (53-37) in a return match at Marvel Gym that drew national attention because of Brown's successful defense against a Ram team that had been averaging about 80 points a game. Brown was named N.E. champion and represented this area in the first NCAA hoop tourney, losing 40-32 to Villanova, the Middle Atlantic champion. Jack Padden was the team's second leading scorer on this fine team. "Jack was the epitome of the well-rounded basketball player," Harry Platt said recently. "He was deadly accurate with his two-handed set shot from outside, and if the defensive man closed up, swish, Jack was past him for an easy lay-up. And defensively, he was one of the best around at that time. He could really blanket a man." Jack Padden also possessed great leadership ability, serving as president of the Brown Key, treasurer of his senior class, and co-captain of the 1940-41 basketball team. He and Nancy have five children, three of whom attended Brown - Andy '66, Sally '71 MAT, and Nancy '76. Jack is the retired president of John A. Padden Co. of Garden City, NY.