When EBL side, City of Sheffield Arrows took to the floor for their first EBL Trophy game back in the late summer of 2004. A 6’0 point-guard by the name of Ryan Patton jogged on to slap hands with fellow team-mates.
Eight months later, Ryan Patton celebrated a treble winning season with the Arrows – and to top it off – he was announced as the overwhelming MVP for the season. Averaging 30 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
After a serious car accident, that halted his playing career, Patton got back into the swing of things, by playing a season in Qatar. A move back to England though was always on the cards.
Patton joined a team he had beaten practically on his own in his Arrows days in the EBL, the Worthing Thunder, for it‘s debut BBL season.
“I had such a great time over there (in Worthing) in the year that I was there” Patton recalls.
“They treated me and the parents well, they (Ryan’s parents) still talk about the great time they had in Worthing.”
After a successful season in Worthing, Ryan moved up north to Sheffield to play for the Sharks. A place, he calls ’home away from home’ and in his first season back in the Steel City, Patton was instrumental in the Sharks’ BBL Cup victory over the Cheshire Jets. A win that Patton remembers fondly.
So, what was higher in Ryan’s honour list? Winning the treble with the Arrows or the Cup with the Sharks?
“Last year, when we won the BBL Cup championship with the Sheffield Sharks. They had not won a trophy in quite a few years, so when we got back on in Sheffield, winning that was huge.” Patton said.
It was huge to win the BBL Cup championship that kind of topped what I did, winning the three trophies with the (City of Sheffield) Arrows in the EBL, so definitely last year (BBL Cup win).”
The dream start to his career as a Shark was met with disappointment though. A shoulder injury kept the Ohio native out for over a month, and Sheffield saw their chances of a BBL League triumph snuffed out, as the Newcastle Eagles overtook them to claim the title.
For Patton, it was bitter heartbreak, not being able to help his team-mates out. As it was Ryan’s old club, Worthing that had the final say as to where the title was going to end up. Thunder defeating Sheffield – which in turn – made Newcastle champions.
Talking about the injury that kept him out Patton commented: “It may have been different. But these things happen, so you just, you know, got to keep getting healthy and do what you can do for the team in other ways.”
“It was disappointing – but we still had an amazing year and everyone did some amazing things – but to be honest, that is in the past and this year is different. We’re off to a great start in the league. We just got to keep plugging away and get better everyday.” Patton said.
As the 6’0 guard pointed out, last season is in the past. Patton is back for his second season, with a new-look squad – Ryan knows that this squad has what it takes to go one step further this term.
“We’re looking to try and win as much as we can. That’s our goal, that’s everybody’s goal, that’s what we should do. So, we work hard in practice and we try to gel and start to figure each other out – and bring it all together.” Patton explained.
So far, so good for the Sheffield Sharks, they currently sit joint-top of the BBL, winning four out of four league games. With the bright television lights of Sky Sports to come, it’s the perfect time to announce Ryan Patton and the Sheffield Sharks to the British audience.
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net