Basketball goes global

Lafayette alumni take on European leagues

For the Lafayette football team, last weekend may have been one to forget, with the Leopards falling to the Princeton Tigers in a 40-7 blow out—but the evening wasn’t all bad.

At half time, an out-of-season sport was honored for their accomplishments the year prior.

At long last, the Patriot League Trophy was presented to the basketball team, celebrating their fantastic 2014/2015 season which resulted not only in conquest of the Patriot League but also in a dream bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Players from last year’s team lined up to receive their championship rings and praise from the Lafayette administration, with the graduated seniors bringing up the end. Only Alan Flannigan and Joey Ptasinski, however, were there to represent the class of 2015.

Two vital components to that class were notably missing from the celebration:  center Dan Trist and forward Seth Hinrichs.

Both of these players them professional contracts in the spring and will continue their basketball careers abroad.

Hinrichs signed with Portuguese team FC Porto of the Liga Portuguesa de Basquetbol, while Trist joined Union Financiera Baloncesto Oviedo in the Liga Espanola de Baloncesto in Spain.

The two have already received the chance to play against each other in a pre-season scrimmage in Portugal.

For Lafayette head coach Fran O’Hanlon, watching two of his players move on to the next level is a great accomplishment.

“We’re very happy and proud that Dan and Seth have a professional opportunity to extend their playing careers overseas,” head coach Fran O’Hanlon said in an article for GoLeopards. “The athletic and cultural experience will be terrific.”

For former Lafayette captain Hinrichs, this European home is quite the jump from his previous abodes in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

“Being in a different country and a foreign culture and having the ability to continue to play basketball is something that I realize is a tremendous opportunity,” said Hinrichs, reflecting on his move.  “Basketball has taken me all across the country and now across the world.”

Thankfully, though, he didn’t have to make the transition alone.

“It could get kind of lonely without the comfort of home but thankfully I’ll have my wife, Andrea, and a few other teammates from America,” Hinrichs said.

According to the former Leopard captain, things are looking up.

“I have been here for about two weeks and it has been a blast,” Hinrichs said. “My coaches, teammates and people from Porto have been very friendly and helpful in the transition. I’m loving it here and I am looking forward to a great year.”

Hinrichs’ season will begin on Oct. 10, and he will debut against Electrico FC.  Trist will debut on the second of October against Castello.

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