The Sharks family is a broad church and while we have been used to hearing lots of Trans-Atlantic accents over the years, occasionally we venture a bit closer to home. One of our most popular players of recent years was German forward Patrick Horstmann. Pat came to the Sharks out of Northwood University in Florida, going on to enjoy three successful seasons on the South Yorkshire hardwood. Away from the court, Pat was the instigator of the B.Braun B.Healthy programme that has engaged with so many children and young people in the region so successfully. We were long overdue a catch-up with the affable native of Lich, Hessen and Pat was only too happy to answer our questions.

Pat explained what he had been up to since leaving the Sharks.

‘I have been back to Germany for a little bit over two years. I worked in the BBraun HQ for almost a year through which I got a new role as a sales rep for a subsidiary company called Inkospor – selling sports nutrition B2B. I am also still playing a little bit of basketball, which is great and I still love.’

We were delighted to hear that Pat was still exhibiting his talents on the court and he went on to explain more.

‘I am playing in the fourth league in Germany now for a team called Herzogenaurach, which is close to Nuremburg and the headquarters of Adidas and Puma. It’s my High School Coaches ‘second / farm’ team and I enjoy the role of helping the young players to develop while still shooting some hoops.’

Pat was instrumental in setting up the B.Braun B.Healthy community programme that promotes a healthy lifestyle to the young people of the region in the classroom as well as through the medium of dance and, of course, basketball. He is still rightly pleased with the impact that the programme provides.

‘The programme is probably one of the things I am most proud of in my life. The support from both the Sharks and BBraun was incredible and helped me to build a programme that had a huge impact on the community and I love that it still exists.’

And to this day, Pat still continues his work with the next generation back in his homeland.

‘Panima Days is a new business / camp that I run with one of my best friends from High School, who had a great pro career in Germany. We wanted to give some of the lessons we learned back to the kids. I wanted to stay involved in doing something for the next generation after building the B.Braun B.Healthy programme and I am very happy that I am doing this together now with one of my best friends.’

During his career with the Sharks, Pat was known for getting the job done under both hoops and not being afraid to mix it physically when he needed to. There was one game however when the Sharks were in urgent need of a ball-carrier….step forward Mr Horstmann!

‘I remember the game! It was right before Christmas and against Glasgow. I loved playing point guard and having the ball in my hands all the time. I think we won it, which is the most important thing. And yes, I wanted to have the greatest impact to help our team win – that’s what it’s all about!’

While most people in England were transfixed by Gareth Southgate’s soccer team in the World Cup last summer, it was an uncharacteristic display from Patrick’s national side. Having attended one winning World Cup Final, what did Pat think of the efforts of his countrymen?

‘I can’t really comment on football as I don’t follow it, but people told me England played pretty well. Last I heard though is that Germany still has four stars on their jersey!’

Tongue firmly in cheek there! Pat went on to give his favourite moments as a Shark…

‘My favourite Sharks memory must be winning the championship (BBL Playoffs) in May 2016, even though it was bittersweet as I was injured and couldn’t help my team on the court; but it was still the best all the same. My second favourite memory must be beating Newcastle at home when BJ Holmes hit that crazy shot!’

It isn’t hard to see why Pat was such a tremendous favourite during his time as a Shark. A committed player, incredibly friendly off the court and with a wicked sense of humour. Being the gentleman that he is, he had a final word for all his friends in South Yorkshire (and a message for one of his former team-mates).

‘I am sending all my love and best wishes to both the Sharks and BBraun. I wouldn’t change my time there for the world and will always cherish the people and memories! Many thanks to everyone and all the best to the Sharks this year! Please bring home some silverware so that Mr Tuck can finally retire!’

Mike sends his regards Pat! We’re trying!

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