Inspiring Forward – Queensland’s Carleigh Patrick poised to play U.S. college basketball.
Patrick has most recently been playing in the Queensland Basketball League with the Logan Thunder while also training with her school team (John Paul College). According to the talented youngster, “usually I train about 10-14 hours a week, including at least two games. At least once a week I do an acceleration session where I work on my individual agility, strength, and conditioning.”
Patrick’s work ethic is a natural result of her pure passion for the game of basketball, a sport she started playing when she was twelve years old. Patrick caught the bug quickly, and was completely consumed by the game in no time while also discovering she had a talent that set her apart from other players.
“I realised that I was actually pretty good at basketball when within my first year of playing basketball, I was asked to trial for the state team and when I showed up to the first trial, people from all different associations from across Queensland knew my name,” Patrick said.
As far as her style of play, Patrick describes, “the best feature of my game is definitely my athleticism. I love to run the floor and play an up-tempo transition game on offence which is how I score a lot of my points. I also loving getting on the glass and doing little things like put backs.”
With a talent such as Patrick, the sky’s the limit, but in order to achieve her goals she must take a step by step approach. Patrick exploded for a 20 plus rebound performance at Nationals in Ballarat, she touched on her overall experience.
“Nationals this year was a challenge for me as I played out of position for most of the tournament. My strength is definitely being on the perimeter because I have more space to work and drive hard to the basket, but unfortunately because of my height it was better to post me up against shorter defenders and play a back to basket game.
When I got the 20+ rebounding game on the first day of the tournament I was feeling fantastic. I was really into the game, feeling fresh and ready to carve up the rest of the week.”
As Patrick inches closer to her goals, she remains focused on what motivates her daily basketball wise. It is one of her brightest and most telling attributes. “On the court, I love being consumed by the game. To me the little 1% things are what distinguishes a good player from a great player, you might score 40 points a game but if you don’t dive on that loose ball or box out hard to get that rebound you lack a key element that will make you succeed, heart.
Patrick continued, “the main thing that motivates me to get up day after day and train so hard is knowing that eventually all my efforts will pay off towards my goals of representing Australia and playing US college ball.”
Along the way in her blossoming career, Patrick has had the benefit of encountering a few special people basketball wise. “Graeme Williams, is by far one of the greatest mentors I have come across throughout my junior career. He has been coaching me for nearly three years now on and off the court. We’ve had a long journey together and we continuously learn from one another.”
In addition to her mentor, Patrick does look up to a few basketball idols as well. “My absolute favourite players to watch are Liz Cambage, Lauren Jackson, Suzy Batkovic and Penny Taylor. I also admire people whom I’ve had the opportunity to play with such as Kristy Wallace, who’s now over in the States at Baylor University.”
En route to her primary goal of playing US college basketball, Patrick has been active on the receiving end of the recruiting process. “After doing two tours in the US, competing in the Nike Summer Showcase (Chicago, Illinois) and the Big State Flava Jam (Dallas, Texas), I received a substantial amount of interest from colleges and are currently talking with three.”
In terms of what she is looking for school wise, “The number one priority I am looking for in a school is the academic courses they offer, I’m still tossing up between a few career options but hopefully soon I will be able to settle on one.”
Patrick added, “In terms of location in the US, there’s no particular place I’d rather be situated at, although when I visited North and South Carolina I thought they were absolutely beautiful and humble.”
The end goal for Patrick is simple, yet meaningful. “I would love more than anything to one day wear the green and gold uniform and represent my country in the Olympics. Pro basketball is my end goal, possibly even Euroleague.”
Patrick also embraces the loving support from her family, which has and will play a large role in her overall success. “My family is one of the biggest inspirations in my playing career as they have always been courtside watching me train and cheering me on when I play. My parents make jokes about how basketball has ruined their lives, but they never fail to drive me to every session no matter how early or late and support me 110%.”