Written by Nick Palma Thursday, 18 July 2013 00:00
Growing up with three older brothers, it wasn’t hard for Brian Gaffney to find someone to play one-on-one basketball with in the driveway as a kid. That’s where it all started for the graduating senior out of Mineola High School, and he hasn’t stopped since.
Gaffney started playing in youth sports leagues as a kid before entering high school, where his natural athletic ability started to impress both students and adults throughout the school district. He got a jump-start to playing high school sports for the Mineola Mustangs when he was brought up to play point guard for the junior varsity boy’s basketball team as an eighth-grader.
His superlative performance that year landed him a spot on the varsity basketball by the time he entered the high school as a freshman. It didn’t take long for Gaffney to get recognized as one of the best athletes in Mineola, as the tri-athlete started on three varsity sport teams when he was a sophomore.
He would go on to be the starting running back, point guard, and midfielder for the football, basketball, and lacrosse teams, respectively. Excelling in all three sports, Gaffney earned multiple awards during his years on the varsity sports teams. In football, he was awarded All Conference his junior year and then All County his senior year.
Coach Dan Guido decided to experiment Gaffney at quarterback a few times in his senior year, which turned out to be very productive. By throwing and rushing for over a hundred yards each in the games he started at quarterback, Gaffney was a key factor to help lead the Mustangs to a playoff appearance this past season.
Unfortunately, the Mustangs lost to Seaford in the first round of the playoffs, but this didn’t mean Gaffney’s sports season was over. Basketball was right around the corner.
As the team’s captain, he was one of their most efficient players both on and off the court. The boy’s basketball team earned themselves a number on the banner, as they were conference champions, putting them in a good position for the playoffs. They reached the second round of the playoffs but were defeated by a strong Lynbrook team.
This would be Gaffney’s last basketball game as a Mustang but he still had his third All Conference award in basketball to walk home with. With a new head coach and fresh start for the boy’s lacrosse team, Gaffney had something to look forward to going into the spring’s sport season. Lacrosse could be considered his best, as Gaffney strove for excellence all four years playing on the varsity team.
The team had one of its most productive seasons this year when they reached the semifinals, only coming up short versus Cold Spring Harbor at Hofstra University. Although Brian would have liked to make it further in the playoffs, he had a showcase of awards for college scouts to look at, achieving three All County awards in his four years of playing lacrosse.
Gaffney says his biggest supporters throughout his playing years have been his mother, Maura, and his brothers Pat, Chris, and Steve. Maura is always traveling away with Brian for his lacrosse tournaments over the summer, which helped get him recognized by many colleges.
Next year, Brian will attend St. John’s University on an athletic scholarship to play Division-I lacrosse.
“We couldn’t be more excited for Brian about playing at St. John’s next year. He has always worked really hard in every sport he played, especially lacrosse, where he devoted the majority of his time. Brian grew up a fan of the Big East so it’s great to see him get a chance to be apart of it,” says Steve.