Alumnus Excels Both On and Off the Court

How does a Northwood University basketball player go from leading Florida Seahawk rebounds and scores to playing for one of the most successful teams in the history of British basketball?

For Patrick Horstmann the road to joining the 2013-2014 season roster of the British Basketball League’s One Health Sharks Sheffield Sharks (fondly referred to as the Sheffield Sharks) was a winding one.

“I left Germany five years ago upon receiving a scholarship offer from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), a NCAA Divison I school, but shortly after I arrived the NCAA changed its rules regarding foreign players, which resulted in me not being permitted to play there," said the 6’7” forward who then had the option of either transferring to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) college or returning home to play professionally.

“Thankfully, I received the offer to join Northwood University Florida from Coach Rollie Massimino and just had the greatest time of my life there,” said Horstman.

“Coach Mass was not only a great teacher of basketball, but also a mentor and father figure to me and to all of my teammates. In addition to making me a better basketball player, he definitely made me a better person. Unlike most coaches in College Basketball, he also allowed me to pursue my interests outside of the basketball court and even pushed me to do so, which I will always be thankful for,” reflected the Wettenburg, Germany native. 

And it was the opportunity to excel academically, that provided a chance for Horstmann to become one step closer to his professional goals. 

“The passion of so many entrepreneurial minded students, employees and professors at Northwood was contagious. Having the opportunity to work alongside Northwood employees Doug Doran, Stephanie Lanza, and Allison Tardonia, and being part of so many events in the community better prepared me for ‘the real world.’ Moreover, the offer from my coaches to further my studies after I received my bachelor’s degree by enrolling in the Northwood MBA program was very special, and coupled with the support from a multitude of professors, allowed me to get where I am today,” said the 25 year-old, who just accepted a job with B. Braun Medical, the Sheffield Sharks main sponsor.

As he takes it all in and embraces this new phase in life, it’s easy for some to see how things have come full-circle.

“While playing professional basketball in the top league in the United Kingdom for Coach Lyons, who refers to our team to as a family just like Coach Mass, I was offered this amazing professional opportunity. So in addition to practice, I have the chance to learn more about a world class organization, which is not only German, but also of one of the biggest healthcare companies in the world. Being responsible for developing and running a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, I will get to work with many young children in this area and hopefully teach them some of the lessons I’ve learned from all the mentors and role-models I had in my life, as well as to provide them with some inspiration and motivation to live healthier and become more active,” he said.

With approximately 50,000 employees in more than 60 countries, B. Braun Medical achieves a turnover of over 5 billion Euros, supplying the global healthcare market with products for anesthesia, intensive care medicine, cardiology, extra corporeal blood treatment and surgical technologies. It also provides services for hospitals, general practitioners and the homecare sector. 

The One Health Sheffield Sharks are a professional basketball team from the city of Sheffield, England. The Sharks currently play in the British Basketball League and play their home fixtures at English Institute of Sport - Sheffield. They are one of the most successful teams in the history of British basketball, second only to Newcastle Eagles, and dominated the domestic scene throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.