LEWISBURG, Pa. -- When Brian Fitzpatrick made the decision to return to Bucknell as a graduate student in 2013-14, he hoped it might lead to a professional basketball career in Europe one day. That day has arrived, as the 6'8" center/forward has signed a two-year deal to play for Rethymno Aegean B.C. in the top professional league in Greece.
Rethymno Aegean B.C., also referred to as AGOR, is based in the town of Rethymno on the northern coast of the Greek island of Crete. Last year the team finished in ninth place in the 14-team Greek A1 Division with a 10-16 record. That came on the heels of a fourth-place finish in 2012-13. The Greek Basketball League is regarded as one of the most talent-laden pro leagues in Europe, led by continental powers Panathinaikos and Olympiacos.
Fitzpatrick began his college career at Penn before transferring to Bucknell. After sitting out the NCAA-mandated transfer year, Fitzpatrick spent his junior and senior year in the frontcourt rotation as a backup behind all-stars Mike Muscala and Joe Willman.
Fitzpatrick returned last year for his final year of eligibility and started all 30 games at center for the Bison. He was the team’s third-leading scorer at 9.6 points per game, he led the team in rebounding at 5.1 per contest, and he ranked second in the Patriot League in field-goal accuracy at 59.0 percent.
Fitzpatrick posted a career-high 12 rebounds in a road win over Boston University, his third career double-digit effort. He also scored in double figures in 14 games last season, with a personal best of 18 at Mount St. Mary’s. Fitzpatrick had a 12-game stretch during league play where he shot 54-for-76 (.711) from the field.
Also a terrific student at Bucknell, Fitzpatrick was named to the five-man Patriot League All-Academic Team as well as the NABC Honors Court after last season. He finished the year with a 3.89 GPA in college student personnel after double-majoring in history and psychology as an undergraduate.
The Bucknell men's basketball program has sent numerous graduates into the professional ranks over the last three decades, including seven coached by current head coach Dave Paulsen. Highlighting the list is 2013 graduate Mike Muscala, who debuted with the Atlanta Hawks last season and became the first Bison ever to play in the NBA. Muscala's classmates Bryson Johnson (Germany) and Joe Willman (Czech Republic) also played in Europe last year.
Another 2014 graduate, Cameron Ayers, played with the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month. The reigning Patriot League Player of the Year also figures to play professionally either domestically or overseas next season.
Horbatuck Having Monster Season in Australia
Also of note is former Bison women's basketball standout forward Lindsay Horbatuck '13. Horbatuck averaged eight points and nine rebounds per game as a rookie in Bulgaria last year. She is now playing for Latrobe City Energy in the Australian Big V league and is putting up video-game numbers. Through 20 games, Horbatuck is averaging 20.5 points and 21.3 rebounds per contest. She has two 30-point games and 13 20-rebound games, and on May 31 she had an incredible 23-point, 30-rebound effort against the Craigieburn Eagles.