Mansell follows family’s athletic tradition

Graduate student Patrick Mansell was a valuable long-range threat for Rider after growing up in a sports-dominated household. Mansell set three-point records at Cheltenham High School.

By Jordan Hall

halljo@theridernews.com

This is the third and final part of a three-part series focusing on the three Rider men’s basketball players who competed in their final game last month. This week: Patrick Mansell.

Following a childhood full of sports and competition, it’s no surprise graduate student Patrick Mansell turned into a college athlete.

Sports have run in the shooter’s blood since birth. The 6’1”, three-point specialist grew up with an athletic family tree. One of Mansell’s uncles played basketball at Georgia Tech alongside former NBA power forward John Salley and four-time NBA All-Star Mark Price.

“I have a picture in my house of him guarding Michael Jordan,” said Mansell, of Laverock, Pa. “It’s pretty cool.”

Mansell’s aunt was the all-time leading rebounder at Georgia when she left.

“That’s before there was a WNBA, but I’m sure if the opportunity was there, she could have done that,” he said.

Another uncle, Randy Holloway, won the national championship as a Pitt football star in 1976 before landing in the NFL as the 21st overall pick in the 1978 draft.

With athletics in his genes, Mansell and his brothers took to basketball. Harris, his older brother, shined on the hardwood at Rider before graduating in 2009, and Mansell’s younger sibling, Robert, just finished his freshman season at Binghamton, making the Mansell household a competitive environment, something Mansell still cherishes today.

“It was awesome,” he said. “Especially because my brother [Harris] and I were so close in age, so it made it a lot easier to work on our game.”

Mansell ran the show at Cheltenham High School alongside Harris, and he did so from long range. The three-point sniper quickly fell in the love with the shooting aspect of the game, and for obvious reasons.

“In seventh grade, I hit five three-pointers in my first game,” said Mansell. “You get more points for a three than a two, so why not shoot as many as you can. I had 1,000 points in high school just from behind the three-point line, so that’s when I became known as a specialist. I shot a lot of them and thankfully made a lot.”

Mansell drained a school-record 334 deep balls in his career and also connected on the most in a single-season with 117. He tallied 1,869 points, second only to Harris, and in 2006, Hoop Scoop Online ranked him as the fifth-best shooter in the Philadelphia area.

Mansell’s lethal stroke had Vermont, Lehigh and Howard watching him early, but when they slowly fell off, Rider jumped right in. The opportunity to play with his brother at the collegiate level was just one incentive for choosing the Broncs.

“For my parents, it was a dream come true for us to play at the same place, and to play with him was like a dream come true [for me],” he said. “It seemed like a great situation so I hopped on it right away.”

As his time at Rider slowly comes to a close, Mansell owns many memories on and off the court.

“Beating a top-25 team at Mississippi State, winning at USC, beating Penn State who I had my career high against,” he said. “Hanging in the locker room, guys making jokes and just the time spent with my teammates on the road, I’ll miss.”

Mansell canned 72 three-pointers in his career as a Bronc and rarely missed from the charity stripe, shooting 86 percent, but he’s most proud of the victories.

“To play in three postseasons and average over 20 wins a season, that’s something you can hold your head up about,” he said.

The two-guard used his final year of eligibility as a graduate student this season because Mansell red-shirted his rookie year as a Bronc, but still performed his academic requirements as a freshman, allowing him to graduate last May as a finance major.

Now, Mansell is on pace to graduate from the grad program following the spring semester. He will hit the work force and join the business world, but his joy for the game will never expire.

“Now I can just enjoy it for what it is,” said Mansell. “Just a game of basketball which I’ll always love.”

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