After serving for seven years in the United States Army, Pat spent seven years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, two as a minor league catcher and five in the front office. He then spent three years in the Minnesota Twins organization before moving to the National Basketball Association. Since 1968, he has been affiliated with teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, including the 1983 World Champion 76ers, and now the Orlando Magic which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA finals in 1995. Twenty-three of his teams have gone to the NBA play-offs and five of them have made the NBA finals. In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history by a national publication.
In his NBA career, he has traded Pete Maravich, traded for Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Penny Hardaway, and won four NBA draft lotteries, including back-to-back winners in 1992 and 1993 and most recently in 2004. He also drafted Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins and signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly, and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. Twelve of his former players have become NBA Head Coaches and seventeen have become assistant coaches.
Pat and his wife Ruth are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations, ranging in age from 19 to 33. For one year, 16 of his children were all teenagers at the same time. Pat and his family have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, The Wall Street Journal, Focus on the Family, New Man Magazine, plus all of the major television networks, The Maury Povich Show and Dr. Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power.
Pat helps teach an adult Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Orlando and hosts a nationally syndicated sports radio show and a weekly Christian radio show. In the last six years he has completed 32 marathons, including the Boston Marathon 10 times and also climbed Mt. Rainier.
Pat was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, earned his bachelors degree at Wake Forest University, and his master’s degree at Indiana University. He has a doctorate in Humane Letters from Flagler University. He is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame after catching for the Deacons baseball team, including the 1962 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship team. He is also a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.
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