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Patrick to assist Australian Olympic team in Tokyo

Tokyo bound: David Patrick, the University of Arkansas basketball coach, will accompany the Australia team to the summer Olympic Games (Photograph courtesy of University of Arkansas)

David Patrick is another Bermudian who will be heading to the Olympic Games this summer, after Basketball Australia sought out the University of Arkansas associate head coach to join their team in Tokyo as assistant coach.

Patrick, who left Bermuda at age ten and grew up in Melbourne, Australia, has strong ties with Australia basketball, having previously served on the “Boomers” staff, helping the national team qualify for the Olympics with their performance at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Brian Goorjian, who led the team at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, returned to the Boomers as head coach last November and asked Patrick to remain on staff this summer. It was too good an offer for Patrick to turn down.

“I am honoured to once again serve with the Australian national team,” Patrick said.

“I am thrilled coach Goorjian elected to have me be a part of his staff. We have a lot of NBA, NBL and world-class talent on this squad. Having coach Goorjian back as the head coach gives us a great opportunity to win a gold medal.

“I have deep roots in Australia and know the great talent the country has and continues to produce. This is a great honour, and I am thankful to Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman and everyone at the university for allowing me to pursue this opportunity.”

The Boomers, currently ranked No 3 in the world, reached the semi-finals at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

This Australian squad includes three NBA players Patrick recruited and coached at previous collegiate coaching posts, including Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers).

“Coach Patrick is highly regarded for his coaching and teaching capabilities as well as his personal qualities,” said Jan Stirling, general manager of High Performance Basketball Australia.

“He brings added value of having a deep understanding of our Australian basketball system. Like us, Arkansas has also recognised his depth of knowledge and experience as a respected and valued member to the programme and community.”

Patrick is in his first season with Arkansas basketball and establishing himself as a quality coach. He has the full backing of head coach Musselman with the coaching assignment.

“First, I could not be prouder that ‘DP’ [David Patrick] will be representing both Australia and the University of Arkansas on the world’s biggest sports stage this summer,” Musselman said.

“I have known ‘DP’ for a long time and have always admired his coaching ability. We first crossed paths when he was at Saint Mary’s, where he recruited and coached Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova.

“Then we had the good fortune to work together at LSU, where he brought in Ben Simmons. From that point, our relationship as coaches grew and we also became very close off the court as well.

“I have the utmost respect and confidence in DP. That is why we worked so hard to have him join our programme. He’s proven himself at every level of basketball, so his coaching ability goes without question.

“I think, when you add his love for Australia and the respect the players from that country have for him, you will see Australia be a force in the Olympics this summer.”

The men’s basketball competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be played from July 25 to August 7. Group matches will be held until July 1, followed by the quarter-finals on August 3, semi-finals on August 5 and the gold and bronze medal games on August 7.

Qualified nations include host Japan, Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Nigeria, Spain and USA. Four additional teams will qualify through FIBA’s Olympic qualifying tournaments, scheduled to take place from June 29–July 4.

Patrick started coaching in 2005 after four years of playing professionally overseas including spells at the Camberra Cannons in Australia between 1999-2001.

In his debut season for the Cannons, he was named the National Basketball League Rookie of the Year.

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Published February 08, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 08, 2021 at 12:31 am)

Patrick to assist Australian Olympic team in Tokyo

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