He’s been one of the stories of British Basketball over the last 12 months as he’s returned to play in the British Basketball League and help the Leicester Riders dominate the domestic game, and his international career has also taken off as well as a first cap in June has been followed up by an invitation to EuroBasket with Nate Reinking’s Men’s side, but Patrick Whelan is looking forward.
Whilst the experience in Milan has been a tough one so far for GB, with three defeats in three outings where the fine margins have tended to go against the national team, there have been positives to build upon and it is those that Whelan is focussing on as the EuroBasket campaign continues.
“It has been a fun 12 months and I owe a lot of my success to the guys I’ve been around at the Riders and here. The energy and the atmosphere we have as a team and the coaching staff we have supporting us have been brilliant, so I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunities.
“It has been a tough couple of games recently, but a focus for me is enjoying giving everything to this experience. It isn’t every day you get to compete with NBA players, former NBA stars, EuroLeague all-stars, and every time I go out there I just want to learn something and enjoy the experience.
“I’m a competitor and I want to win these games, but anything I can take from the experience I will do that, because to be here at a EuroBasket is probably the biggest experience of my life so far, so anything I can take from it and anything I can enjoy about being here with my team and competing against other top talents, I’m going to make sure I do that.”
Averaging six points per game so far in Milan with 12 minutes per outing to show what he can do, Whelan is playing less minutes than he would be used to at club level, but he’s working hard to stay ready for his opportunities when they arise and discusses his pride at being involved in the roster in the first place.
“I’m just trying to stay ready so that whenever my number is called I can step onto the court and make the most of the opportunity to help the team. I’ve been focussing on continuing to do the things that have brought me success over the last year, so that whatever minutes I do get and whatever opportunity I have to contribute, I’m as prepared as I can be to be at my best.
“Competing as a team is our biggest strength, so the more we can help each other out to compete and win games together. We all want to be competitive, we all want to do everything to help each other win, because none of us want to go home with any regrets, We have the skill and the talent, we just need to put it all together.
“I’m proud of how far I’ve come in the last 12 months, and I believe a lot in celebrating the small victories, so hopefully I can continue to grow and develop and help British Basketball move forward.”
Great Britain take to the court today (Tuesday) in their fourth game of Group C against Estonia at 1:15pm BST. All of Great Britain’s fixtures at EuroBasket 2022 can be watched live on FIBA’s streaming platform, Courtside 1891. Head to courtside1891.basketball and use the promo code ‘EUROGB25’ now to get 25% off an annual pass to the platform.