Patricija Tamašauskas makes dreams come true

Gepubliceerd op 5 juli 2024 om 13:00

Patricija Tamašauskas, a dual citizen of Lithuania and the United States, has made a significant mark in the basketball world. As a player for the Lithuanian national team and an active participant in the American basketball circuit, her journey is a blend of experiences passion for the sport. Photo: FIBA Europe

Discovering basketball

From an early age, Patricija was encouraged by her parents to explore basketball. "I played a lot of sports growing up, but my parents were like ‘you should try basketball.’ After that I tried basketball and I just played it for the rest of my life," she recalls. This early introduction laid the foundation for a lifelong dedication to the game. Reflecting on her first experience, she adds, "I was really scared. I thought I was going to suck. We had some older girls, and I was like ‘oh my god they are really good and I'm not good, like, I'm going to be so bad.’"

Passion beyond the court

Basketball for Patricija is more than just a sport. "It's also let me travel, it's also let me make new friends, it's also made me try new things," she explains. This sentiment reflects her deep-seated passion for basketball, viewing it as a gateway to various life experiences and personal growth. "I feel like everyone has like their own difference. I am very versatile. I feel like I could play any position, I could do whatever, I could be an offensive player if they need me to, I could be a defensive player if they need me to," she says. Beyond her physical capabilities, she emphasizes the importance of leadership and character in her game, always striving to encourage and support her teammates. "I have a lot of experience. I have a lot of character and I have a lot of leadership qualities and I'm always here to encourage my teammates."

Inspiration and role models

When it comes to inspiration, Patricija finds it close to home. "I always look up to Georgia Amoore. She is an Australian basketball player, I always look up to her, she is like my idol," she mentions. Additionally, her coaches and teammates are constant sources of motivation for her. "Someone I look up to all the time is definitely my coaches and, yeah, my teammates."

Cultural contrasts in basketball

Patricija has experienced basketball in both Lithuania and the United States. "American basketball is more like flashy; showing off all these moves, while Lithuanian basketball is very structured and very aggressive," she observes. This cultural contrast has enriched her understanding and approach to the game. "It feels really, really special because you've seen all the posts about Lithuanian basketball and stuff like that. See, I grew up in America right now and American basketball is way different than Lithuanian basketball."

Current team dynamics

Playing at John A. Logan College college in the United States, Patricija is part of a diverse team. The adaptation to different playing styles and strategies has been a learning curve, but one that she embraces wholeheartedly. "Basketball here in the US is just way different, like very different."

Staying motivated

Maintaining motivation throughout the season can be challenging. "You just have to create that motivation, like, inside yourself," Patricija advises. Her strategy involves focusing on the long-term benefits of hard work and pushing through the tough moments. "It gets hard because it's, like, you're doing the same thing over and over again and you get tired. But I feel like you just have to create that motivation, like, inside yourself. Like, you can't have someone else tell you to do it."

National team experience

Representing Lithuania at the Under 18 level was a highlight for Patricija. "It felt amazing. It felt great playing with, like, my friends again," she recounts. Despite the intense and challenging nature of the tournaments, the experience was rewarding, especially with the support of her family. "There were some hard practices. And I got sick from traveling. And there were some struggles. But I enjoyed every single minute of it. And I would redo it again if I got to do it again."

Future aspirations

Looking ahead, Patricija aims to continue her basketball career, with aspirations of playing professionally in Europe. "I definitely want to maybe, like, play pro in Europe," she says. Additionally, she is open to the idea of coaching or training the next generation of players, though she prefers to live in the moment and take each day as it comes. "But also maybe in the future, like, becoming a coach or just training, like, the next generation. That is something in which I am interested. But I don't really like looking into the future. I like living in, like, the moment."

From her early days of nervousness to becoming a key player on the Lithuanian national team, her story is an inspiring narrative of dedication and the pursuit of excellence in the world of sports. Photo: FIBA Europe

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