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Man Of The Moment: Patty Mills' Star Continues To Rise
Sport|Oct 18, 2021

Man Of The Moment: Patty Mills' Star Continues To Rise

You Actually Couldn’t Write Patty Mills' Story Any Better.
Corrine Barraclough

Look at that, Patty Mills’ star continues to rise. 

Our very own Australian Boomers captain, who’s known as one of the league’s best shooters, has ended his decade-long stay with the San Antonio Spurs by signing a two-year, $16.2million contract with the NBA championship contender Brooklyn Nets. 

Not bad, eh?  

So, that’s Mills sorted through to the age of 34, which is 30 years after he started playing his favourite sport. Yes, he first took up basketball as a four-year-old for a local club called The Shadows. 

Known for his three-point shooting and his leadership qualities, there had been reports flying around that he could be headed to the Lakers. Talk was that LeBron James’ team had reportedly made Mills one of their targets, but he’s instead thrown a curveball and netted this deal. It’s thought that his established friendship with the Nets general manager Sean Marks could have dunked the deal. 

And so, the Nets’ fully loaded roster will see the team step onto the court for the 2021-22 NBA season with the most expensive roster ever assembled in the NBA. Mills’ new teammates include Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. 

It’s not just this latest chapter that’s inspirational, you actually couldn’t write Patty Mills’ story any better. 

Patrick Sammie Mills, born and raised in Canberra, is of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Australian descent. 

In 2007 he became only the third Indigenous basketball player to play for Australia’s national team. He was selected by Portland Trail Blazers after playing two years of college basketball for Saint Mary’s College of California. 

The Net’s fully loaded roster will see them step onto the court for the 2021-22 NBA season with the most expensive roster ever assembled in the NBA

He’s played for Melbourne Tigers and then for Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China before heading to the United States in March 2012 to play for the Spurs. 

And, impressively, he helped Spurs win the 2014 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat. 

His uncle is former Olympian basketballer Danny Morseu, who was the second Indigenous Australian to represent Australia at the Olympics in basketball. Mills was the third, years later. 

He’s also the cousin of Rugby League player Edrick Lee and fellow basketball player Nathan Jawai. 

He also played underage Australian Rules’ football at a high level and could have, at one point, decided to pursue a career in the Australian Football League (AFL), but he instead concentrated on basketball. 

Many players, managers and fans are glad he made that choice. On 26 April 2012, Mills set career highs with 34 points and 12 assists for his first NBA. 

On 19 January 2020, he made his 1,000th NBA 3-pointer. Keep in mind: he’s the first Australian player in NBA history to reach that milestone. 

He was already on our national radar, but you’ll remember that Mills became the first Indigenous Australian to be 
a flag bearer when he carried the Australian flag at the 2021 Olympic opening ceremony alongside Cate Campbell. 

What else? 

Well, he’s known for his enthusiasm and met his long-term girlfriend Alyssa Levesque, who was also a college basketball player, while they were both attending Saint Mary’s College of California. 

And, just to prove he really can do it all, in 2017 he co-wrote a series of books for young readers with Jared Thomas, published in 2018 as Game Day! Championship Collection. 

So, yeah, this guy’s pretty impressive all round.