Success in Athletics
Success in Athletics and the Come Ready Or Never StartTM Philosophy
Although he was offered full scholarships to several colleges with unranked Division 1 basketball teams, Pat Cavanaugh turned them all down. Pat had a dream – to play quarterback for the University of Pittsburgh.
But it was risky.
Lehigh wanted him to play quarterback, but he turned down that full scholarship offer to risk it all as a walk-on for the University of Pittsburgh – with no guarantees of even playing, much less of earning a scholarship!
But he believed in himself.
Pat was raised in Grove City, a small town in Western PA that college recruiters did not have on their recruiting maps. The big Division 1 teams never checked on the strong armed quarterback and point guard.
This didn’t stop Pat. He knew better.
He knew his skills, his talents, and above all, his dedication. His father’s training taught him perseverance; it taught him to never give up. It taught him the value of hard work and commitment to your goals. After all that training, Pat did not want to just settle for second best; he wanted to play against the best! He knew he could prove the scouts and the naysayers wrong. He knew that he was prepared. His goal wasn’t just to play; it was to play against the best competition in the country.
Not only did Pat walk on to the University of Pittsburgh football and basketball teams, he walked on to become only the second person to be named basketball team captain in both his junior and senior years. Yes, after just one semester he earned a full scholarship for the highly touted Pitt basketball team, but his vision was much greater than that. Under his leadership, Pitt won its first Big East Tournament game ever at Madison Square Garden. Pat came off the bench to score 13 points and 3 assists in the final 15 minutes against Seton Hall. That day, Pitt lost a quarterback and gained a point guard. Jerome Lane, the leading rebounder in the country at that time and a teammate of Pat’s was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette saying “Pat has more heart than anybody I’ve ever seen in basketball.”
He went from a dream to reality because Pat had an advantage. He listened to what was inside. He came ready.
After college, Pat set his sights on playing for the NBA. He shared almost every kid’s dream of playing professional sports, and it was within his grasp. Turning down several overseas contracts to play pro basketball, Pat was selected by the Philadelphia 76er’s for their team tryouts. Over other drafted players, he played for Philadelphia against the Minnesota Timberwolves on their summer league team. Pat went on to tryout with the Orlando Magic in 1993 and made it all the way to their final cut before the regular season.