Former North Dakota Basketball Player Patrick Mitchell Finds Opportunity in Aussie Rules Football

When he was at North Dakota, Patrick Mitchell made his name from beyond the arc. The Iowa native shot over 140 threes per year at UND and made 37% of his total threes attempted.

Now Mitchell is going to be attempting long range shots with a slightly larger ball, as he will be spending next year with the Sydney Swans of the Australian Rules Football League.

Based on some brief research, it sounds like Mitchell will be playing the ruckman position for the Swans. According to the never wrong Wikipedia, a ruckman is “typically a tall and athletic player who contests at centre bounces and stoppages.” I know absolutely nothing about Aussie Rules Football, but basically it sounds like they go for a jump ball, only they can ram into each other. Sounds fun.

When asked if Mitchell had the talent, both he and his coach seemed confident.

“Absolutely.” Mitchell said. ““I’ve already started training at home and I’m just working on my running and kicking and a bit of weight training,”

Swans coach John Longmire seemed impressed with Mitchell’s skills he showed at a tryout:

“Obviously what we’ve seen with Mike Pyke coming to our footy club is that there is potential for players who haven’t got a background in AFL football to develop and have an opportunity to play league football if they have the right mindset, are prepared to work, and have some athletic talent,” Longmire told

“We think that’s what Patrick has got – a combination of all of those.

“He’s over 200cm tall, he’s extremely athletic, he’s got a huge vertical leap, but he’s got a lot to learn.

“He’s been most impressive in all the time he’s spent here, both with Paul Roos and with us, and he seems like his work rate will be huge.

Mitchell will report to Sydney in October and should remain with the team through at least the end of the 2015 season.