Patrick Lockwood is a force to be reckoned with in the basketball world … passionately dedicated to the sport both on and off court, his hard work and talent paid off with a recent invitation to visit the USA to participate in the West Coast’s College Basketball Showcase. Patrick’s future is bright, with his visit to the States culminating in multiple offers from some leading schools …
Hi Patrick. Tell us a little about yourself, family, and connection to the Port Macquarie area.
I’m 16 and was born in Port Macquarie; I’ve been raised here with my parents and older brother. My mother’s heritage has gifted me with being half German; therefore, we visit my grandparents and cousins in Germany every two years or so. I am currently doing my senior studies at MacKillop College.
What first led to your interest in basketball?
My family’s history of athletic and talented basketball players was a large influence. My father, Brad Lockwood, and his father, Carl, both had tremendous success playing basketball in their high school years. However, the greatest influence would be my brothers’ achievements in basketball.
After I had figured out the rules, I knew this sport was something I could spend a lot of time playing. I still wouldn’t have anticipated that just a year later I would drop my ex-favourite sport, soccer, to solely pursue my passion for basketball.
What teams have you regularly played with – and what are your preferred positions on the court?
I began playing in Port Macquarie and went on to represent the association, reaching the State Championships in my first and third year. For the past two years I have played with the Bellingen Braves, making the finals both years. I’ve been well supported and welcomed here, and for that I am truly grateful.
I also have no set position. I’m a basketball player and play wherever the team or coach needs me. As well as these state basketball achievements, prior to the Christmas break my MacKillop College School Team came fourth in the National Australian All Schools Championships held in Melbourne.
What’s your normal training schedule look like during playing season?
During the season, I travel four – eight hours each week to and from Coffs Harbour to train. My weekly training schedule includes two hours of agility training with a personal trainer and three additional hours of my own fitness work at home. I also do four hours of my own on-court basketball training a week.
You were invited to attend the USA last year to participate in the West Coast’s College Basketball Showcase. How did this opportunity come about?
Three years ago, I attended an elite level basketball camp in Sydney that was promoted as an opportunity to experience training with NBA trainer and talent scout Matthew Conboy, who is known as the top skills trainer in the US.
Following the camp, I chose to keep in contact with Matt and strengthen our relationship. This connection provided me with greater access to top level US drills and enabled Bellingen Association to invite Matt to Australia on multiple occasions. His trips to the land down under afforded Bellingen and Coffs Harbour players the same incredible experience I had training with Matt.
After Matt’s most recent visit, he invited me to come to the USA to attend this renowned West Coast College Show Case. It didn’t take long for me to realise that this was an opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime.
How long did you spend in the USA … and what did you get to experience there?
Upon landing in Portland, I found it difficult to comprehend that I was officially on U.S soil. My father accompanied me on the trip, which lasted 10 days. Matt organised each venue and even arranged for us to stay with him and his amazing family.
The first few days included a tour of the incredible campuses and training facilities at Portland State University (Division 1) as well as Linfield College (Division 3), where coach Jon Willis invited us to watch their team train. Next came a visit to the Nike World Headquarters. John Olinger, who works in the Kobe Bryant shoe and advertising department, took us to different sections on the campus that included the Michael Jordan Building, an extensive Nike gym and basketball court, and even gave us a 40% discount off everything in the Nike Employee Store.
In the following days, I visited the Columbia River and Woodrow Wilson High schools. At both schools I competed against senior players in open gym trainings and even attended a College game to witness a US National three point record game.
The Max Hoops College Showcase, run by Brant Minor, was in the last two days of our trip. The camp hosted eight current college coaches who trained and recruited players, due to the fact that only the top players from Oregon, Washington, and California attended.
At the end of the camp, I was honoured to be the first Australian to be selected in the All Star Team and competed in a game made up of the best players at the camp. Following the camp, my father and I capped off our last night by attending and watching an NBA game between the Portland Trailblazers and Boston Celtics.
Now that you’re back on Aussie soil and you’ve had a chance to reflect on your trip, what are your future goals?
Upon my return to Australia, I have had six offers from high schools in four different states. These include an offer from the 2017/18 Oregon State Champions. I am currently considering which school is right for me, as my ultimate goal is to play college ball in the U.S.
Whom would you like to thank/acknowledge for helping you with your basketball journey so far?
I wish to thank: my family. My brother, for kicking my butt whenever we played against each other in our driveway. My friend and personal trainer, Ksandros. Stewart, the man who pushed me even in times when I thought I had nothing left. The Bellingen Basketball Association, for welcoming me with open arms. Most importantly, I want to thank Matt Conboy, for giving me this unbelievable experience and my father, for making me the player and man I am today.
Thanks Patrick. All the best!
Interview: Jo Robinson.