By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Kilpatrick said that the moment he received a call by Panathinaikos head coach Rick Pitino, he didn’t think twice about signing with the club.
“He’s [Rick Pitino] a great coach. He was one of the reasons why I also came here and wanted to play,” Kilpatrick told reporters during his arrival in Athens. “It’s not every day that you have a coach like him who’s legendary call you and say that he wants you to be on their team, As soon as he called, I said ‘I’m coming’. You can ask him yourself. Coach Mick Cronin (Kilpatrick’s coach in Cincinnati and Pitino’s assistant in Louisville) who I value, he said ‘as soon as you get there you are going to love how Pitino coaches.’. This played a huge part in my decision as well.”
Pitino’s presence was one of the reasons Kilpatrick joined six-time EuroLeague champion Panathinaikos. The club’s history and the fans’ reputation were also big factors behind his decision.
“It’s a very prestigious team. But not only that. The fanbase is ridiculous. This is something you’ll never probably see in your life and this is something I wanted to experience. Me being able to grab this opportunity to come here and play with my teammates. This is very important for my future. That was something that played a huge part in what I wanted to do.”
Kilpatrick watched Panathinaikos’ latest EuroLeague game (a win over Bayern Munich) during his flight to Athens and noted some aspects of the EuroLeague game he’ll experience for the first time in his career.
“I was watching the EuroLeague game. It’s very fundamentally sound. You play with huge character. But mostly you play together. That’s something that speaks volumes of what you teach here. I think this will help me when I do get back in the States.”
As for Kilpatrick’s goals with Panathinaikos? They are quite simple.
“Win championships. That’s something that I want to do. It’s going to get a lot of work to get there.”