Arkansas men’s basketball associate head coach David Patrick will join the Australian men’s national team as an assistant coach for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“It was a dream of mine to play for (Australia), which I was not able to do,” Patrick said in a midweek press conference. “But to be able to coach and continue to be a part of that team is a dream come true for me.”
Patrick joined the Razorback coaching staff in July 2020 after serving as head coach at UC-Riverside the previous two seasons.
Prior to his head coaching gig, he was an assistant at several Power 5 schools, including Louisiana State University - the alma mater of fellow Australian native and NBA All-Star Ben Simmons. He coached San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova during their college careers at Saint Mary’s College of California in 2009 and 2010.
“To have coached them in college and now to be able to coach them on the international stage...I’m pinching myself,” Patrick said.
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics was postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. Training camp for international teams will take place after the NBA playoffs in July. Patrick estimates it will be a five-week absence from Fayetteville, but is not worried about the time away from Arkansas.
“The fortunate thing for us is our camp is going to be based in America, so it is not like we have to leave the country (and) I’ll still be able to do my zooms and my recruiting,” Patrick said.
Patrick expects his time at the Olympics to benefit not only him but also the Razorback basketball program as well, he said.
“It’s also good to be able to tell a recruit ‘I am busy right now at the Olympics getting ready to prepare for LeBron and James Harden,’” Patrick said.
Patrick was an assistant coach on the Australia Boomers team that finished fourth in the 2019 FIBA World Championships.
“I think for any athlete, to play for your country or to coach for your country is the pinnacle of sports,” Patrick said.