Patty Brossmann has had enough of near misses in her basketball career and winning a first ever NBL1 West championship for the women at Beeliar Boodjar Cougars is now all she’s worrying about and was a big focus on why that’s where she signed.
Brossmann enjoyed her first visit down under to play at the Rockingham Flames last season and always knew she would love to come back in 2023 if there was a club happy to wait for her to arrive when her season in Italy finished.
There was no shortage of suitors, but once Brossmann weighed up her options, it was the push that the Cougars were making to try and win the club’s first ever women’s championship that meant that she didn’t need to hear much more to sign on for coach Tyrone Thwaites.
Brossmann is now working on getting a back complaint right ahead of the playoffs having played five games since arriving from Italy where there was more heartbreak as her ASD Costa Masnaga team lost their promotion playoff battle with Sanga Milano.
That continued a frustrating trend of near misses for Brossmann in the quest to win championships which dated back to her college career at the University of San Diego.
Deciding to join the Cougars
Brossmann isn’t interested in coming in and dominating for the Cougars, she isn’t worried about the numbers she puts up or anything.
All she wants to do is help a team that was undefeated when she arrived and is still sitting clear on top of the standings with four games and three rounds of the regular season to go to reach their potential.
It was the fact that it was a Cougars team pushing for a championship that was a big factor in why she signed.
“Honestly Tyrone came in and he said that he wants to win a championship, and that’s basically what the selling point was for me,” Brossmann said.
“That’s what every athlete wants right and also giving me an opportunity to come in midway through the season, and understanding my situation in Italy and working with me together on everything to make that work.
“He just gave me that opportunity and told me that he wanted to win a championship, and I was all in on that and said I’d sign.”
The chance to make history
While the Beeliar Boodjar men’s team won SBL championships in 1992, 2012 and 2016, that same success has so far eluded the women’s program and they haven’t been able to reach a grand final yet in the history of the league dating back to 1989.
While any championship would mean everything, it’s extra special for Brossmann and everyone else at Cockburn to think about the history they could be part of if they are able to convert their current first place hold into the ultimate success over the next six weeks.
“For sure, every athlete dreams about making history at the club they play at so I think it’s just an exciting season for us as players as well as the entire community at Cockburn,” she said.
“I’m super excited and I hope that we can get this done. We’ll be doing everything possible to really win this championship and it is exciting that we know we could make history and put the first women’s banner up in that gym.”
Brossmann tries to not think back on it too much, but when she does reflect on her championship history, it’s mostly heartbreakingly near misses that she can recall. That continued just before she joined the Cougars with that loss she suffered with ASD Costa Masnaga to Sanga Milano.
There was a European under-20s championship with Germany she fondly recalls six years ago, but apart from that she feels it’s about time she’s now part of some more championship glory.
“I haven’t won too many. I won a European championship with the German national team in 2017 and then at college we went to the final twice in the conference tournament, and lost both only by one or two points so that was kind of devastating,” she said.
“Other than that I haven’t won too much. I’ve been on teams that have always been right there but never quite got it. Then right before I came to Australia we made the grand final with my Italian team with a chance to promote to the first league, but we lost the series 0-2.
“I’m always right there so now hopefully it’s time to actually get there, get it done and with this team and coaching staff at Cockburn, I think we’ve got a pretty good shot at it.”
What’s it been like coming into a team already rolling
It’s not unusual for an import arriving mid-season to a team to be looked at upon arrival as a saviour with them being looked at as the missing piece to come in and revive the prospects of the team they are joining.
The opposite was the case for Brossmann as she was coming into a team who once they won in Kalgoorlie where she was along for the trip but didn’t suit up, they were sitting on a 10-0 record.
So the challenge instead for Brossmann was to come into the side and add to it, and not upset any of the chemistry or momentum that they had.
“That was the main focus that I wanted to come in and really keep everything smooth and don’t really interrupt anything. I just wanted to come in and do my thing, and gel with the team, and I hope I’ve done a pretty good job of that so far to get into the team,” Brossmann said.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve found it difficult, but I felt a bit of a pressure just because I knew Cockburn was having such a good run and were such a good team. It was a really interesting situation to come into but at the end I’ve really enjoyed it, I’m loving it and I’m so glad I came.
“It is an awesome team to play in with the players and coaching staff that we have. We have a good shot at it this season and it’s super fun, they’ve welcomed me with open arms. It was interesting but I’m glad I did it.”
Getting healthy for playoff run
Brossmann did settle nicely especially in the wins against Mandurah, Warwick and East Perth but then she hurt her back two weeks ago against the Perry Lakes Hawks.
She missed last week’s win against the Perth Redbacks and it’s going to be a juggling act now leading into playoffs, but Brossmann is in no doubt she’ll be back to full health in time for the business end of the season.
“I’ll try everything to figure everything out and to get healthy, but it’s going uphill from now,” Brossmann said.
“I’m getting treatment and I’ll be healthy for sure for finals, and we’ll just see how we are going to play it for the rest of the regular season now. We’ll just take it slow to make sure I’m right for finals.”
Brossmann also enjoyed her time with the Rockingham Flames last season where she delivered 18.7 points and 10.6 rebounds a game.
With the Flames currently sitting in fourth place this season, there’s every chance her new team might face her former club in the playoffs at some point, and she would embrace that.
“It would also be interesting for sure if we get to play Rockingham, I hope that happens,” she said.
“I do like challenges like that I hope we’re going to face them because they look pretty good. It would be a good time to play against them for sure.”
Wanting to come back down under
After that season with Rockingham last year, Brossmann knew she wanted to return to the NBL1 in some form in 2023. It was just a matter of where and it ended up being Cockburn, but everything about it that allows her to play 12 months a year is something she’s fully embraced.
“I just love the concept of the NBL1. It’s just a fun environment to play in and it’s a great community especially at Cockburn,” Brossmann said.
“It’s a family environment and then just the system itself. You practice twice a week and for me as a professional athlete, you have some time to yourself.
“Coming off a regular season in Europe, it’s a good break where I can still play and get more playing time, but also work on my skill set and work on myself, and work on the stuff I want to do in my off-season while I’m still able to compete.”
How has being a professional basketballer lived up to hopes
The longer Brossmann’s time in college at San Diego playing on the Toreros basketball team, the German national knew that basketball is what she wanted to make a career out of.
She ended her 119-game college career averaging 6.1 points and 5.5 rebounds a game before since going on to play with Calais in France, back in Germany with TK Hannover and most recently at Costa Masnaga in Italy.
Throw in the two stints in the NBL1 West now and also her time playing with the German national team, and her dreams of professional basketball have definitely lived up to her hopes.
“Midway through college I decided I really loved basketball and wanted a really good tenure playing professionally and to pursue that,” Brossmann said.
“I just started playing as a professional and I’ve been loving it. I love to travel and I love to see different places, and see different cultures and meet new people. I’ve made so many friends all over the world and it’s just a great experience.
“It’s not just basketball but also in your personal life because you grow so much as a person, and learn so much. I love challenges and I just love to keep getting better every day so my goal is to reach high, and just try get better all the time. I just love getting to play basketball for a living.”
Living in such different places around the world
The fact that basketball has taken Brossmann to San Diego, to Perth, to Italy and to France is something she is thankful for and she makes sure fully embraces each place that she’s able to live.
“Everybody knows that basketball can sometimes get a little bit rough and it can get a little bit lonely especially with the professional life living in different parts of the world,” Brossmann said.
“But being able to live somewhere that’s nice and welcoming, and that’s a great environment it makes everything so much easier. So playing in San Diego, college was hard sometimes but then you just walk to beach.
“Now living in Italy, there’s that great culture and I could just walk around, and appreciate the places around me. Same here now in Australia and if I need a quick reset I can just go down to the beach, or just drive a little bit down the coast and that’s that.
“I think it’s really important to live in a really nice place to get your mental right in times like that so it’s been great the places I’ve been able to live. I just feel happy and blessed I get to experience such great places.”