Former BLHS Bobcat going to play for 'dream" school
It’s been quite the basketball ride for Basehor-Linwood alum Pat Muldoon.
Muldoon graduated from BLHS in 2015 on the heels of a career that saw the Bobcats go 43-5 his last two seasons including a Class 4A-I state runner-up finish his senior year.
From there, the first-team All-State player moved on to Eastern Illinois University for a shot at D1 basketball.
He played there for the past two years, starting 18 of 59 games and averaging five points and 3.7 rebounds per outing.
Then he decided it was time for a change and he transferred to Kansas State where he will walk on for the Wildcats and head coach Bruce Weber, sitting out the upcoming season due to transfer guidelines.
“I transferred to Kansas State because I always had a dream of being a Wildcat and playing at this level and I felt as though I could perform on this stage,” Muldoon said. “I didn't want to look back having any doubts in my mind about ‘what if’ although it was probably my toughest decision in my life thus far to leave EIU after two years and walking away from all the connections I made on the team, in the university and even in the community in Charleston, Illinois.
“The biggest difference in the two programs is the amount of time I spend in the gym with the team. Before coming to K-State, I thought I was spending all the time I could in the gym, when I quickly realized that I have had a lot of extra time on my hands, when each day is approached as an opportunity to get better. So that is what I’ve been doing here this summer.”
The college game itself offered its own surprises but he wasn’t shocked by much.
“Every season in college had its highs and lows just like they did in high school,” Muldoon said. “Even outside of the season, it was hard at first to get adjusted to being away from home and starting my life on my own, but thankfully for me I’ve always had the gym which is the best stress reliever for me.
“I never have had a rude awakening through playing ball and again, I credit that to MOKAN (AAU) for getting me prepared. I will say that the seasons are much longer in college and workouts are all year long, so it is definitely another step up as far as the amount of time and sacrifice that is required to be any sort of threat in this game.
“College athletics has been everything I’ve expected and more. The atmosphere is something that you can’t recreate. Game days are a special day and I try to soak up everyone as if it is my last cause I never know when my last game could be.”
He learned a lot of lessons for sports as a Bobcat and he has come across even more since moving on.
“As a high schooler, if I were able to tell myself some things knowing what I know now, I would firstly tell myself to sacrifice,” Muldoon said. “I wish I would have sacrificed more of my free time to be in the gym. Because once you get to the next level, God-given talent and the size I had over people in high school does not go nearly as far as you would think. Everyone at the next level is bigger, faster and stronger and they are always competing to get better.
“I would also tell myself to be more consistent, because consistency is key at the next level. It’s very easy to walk into a practice and tell which kids have been putting in extra work and those who haven’t. Confidence is everything in my eyes because you know in your head if you have put up enough shots to be confident to pull up and shoot a jumper or bring the ball up the floor without worrying about losing the ball because you have spent extra time crafting your handles.”
Muldoon can’t help but look back at his prep days and wax poetic.
“Looking back at high school and Basehor Linwood specifically, I remember … my senior season where we went 24-0 before losing in the state title game to McPherson and although we did not win the title that year, I realized that when you have a group of guys who believe in their coach and believe in the guys standing next to them, then you can achieve anything,” Muldoon said. “That year we did and we achieved something that absolutely no one could have guessed that we would have done at the beginning of the year. If you were to even tell my 18-year-old self that we were going to go 24-0 and have a shot at being state champs with the team we had that year I would have giggled a little. But every day that whole team came into the gym ready to work and ready to win, and I thank everyone who was a part of that team because that year taught me a lot about myself and really pushed me to grow and expand my game that year both on the court and in the locker room.”
“Secondly, I remember that half way through my junior year, I had something click and really started sacrificing more time to be in the gym and work on my game. You can ask my friends and family and they will tell you how little they saw me that last year and a half of high school because I realized that I had a dream that wouldn't just fall into my hands and that I had to work extremely hard to reach that goal.”