About Pat Burke
"Pat" John Burke is a former Professional basketball player.
Born December 14, 1973, in Dublin, Ireland. First Irish-born
player ever to play in the NBA. Attended Mariner High School
in Cape Coral, Fla. Graduate of Auburn University 1997
Degree in Communications.
Pat Burke went undrafted out of Auburn University in
1997 and won six championships during his nine years playing
professionally in Europe. His first stint in Europe included
playing for TAU Cerámica (1997-98 Spain), Panathinaikos
(1998-2001 Greece) and Maroussi BC (2001-02 Greece) before
being signed to a contract with the Orlando Magic for the
2002-03 season. Pat spent another two seasons in Europe for
CB Gran Canaria (2003-04) and Real Madrid (2004-05) before
returning to play in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns for two
seasons from 2005-07. In 2007, he then returned to Europe
for stints with Khimki BC (2007-08 Russia) and Asseco Prokom
Sopot (2008-09 Poland). During his professional career,
Burke was also co-captain of the Ireland National basketball
After his professional career finished, Pat
volunteered in a number of different organizations involving
youth and development. He was approached by a friend with an
opportunity to train two young men in the game of
basketball. The initial session was started in Pat’s
backyard. Pat was immediately in awe of working with youth
and the ability to assist in helping youth achieve goals.
His high school Coach, Marty Waters, had done just that in
his life, and Pat recognized the reactions youth displayed
when they were building confidence and sharing their dreams.
It wasn’t long into this introduction to coaching, Pat and
his wife Peyton made the decision to start HOOPS.
early start of this organization focused mainly on physical
performance and skilled training emphasis. The first year of
HOOPS was an introduction for Pat himself on how coaching
was more than a simple basketball and training sessions. It
was about supporting and assisting youth in a number of
areas of life.
A young teenage boy joined HOOPS with
a similar start to Pat’s early basketball introduction. No
organized experience, no real skill, and no confidence. Pat
identified this young man as a reflection of himself at 16
years of age, having started late after a growth spurt. It
wasn’t long until the pressure and stress of life had the
young man collapse in one of his HOOPS training sessions.
That moment threaded the gap in Pat’s reality on what youth
are going through, and how far removed he was from his own
start and a coach who changed his path. This was the
beginning of HOOPS Life.
Today, HOOPS Life is a
non-profit organization that provides youth an opportunity
to gain valuable experience in character building,
leadership skills, and self-awareness that extend off the
court. The HOOPS Life TEAM is made up of men and women who
are committed to each individual child and their success.
The HOOPS Life TEAM has continued to assist youth identify
obstacles in their lives and achieve goals. In 2016, HOOPS
Life Cares 501(c)3 was established to serve children who
were unable to afford enrollment into the programs. Together
with community leaders, business owners, schools, and other
organizations HOOPS Life is making a direct impact in
children’s lives and how we focus on youth development in
“My vision is that local children have
an opportunity to gain the assistance and support needed to
unlock their unlimited potential in life, while having a
positive impact on their future, and in their community.”
Awards and Honors
Euroleague Champion 2000
Greek League Champion 1999, 2000, 2001
Spanish League Champion 2005
ULEB Cup (Runner-Up) 2004
Russian Cup 2008
Polish League Champion 2009
"HOOPS is amazing!! The coaches are amazing!! There is no where else I would want to be!!
Both Pat and Fenny have taught me so much not only in basketball but in life!!
It wasn't always easy but it definitely made me a better player and person!!
I Love them both so much!! They have done above and beyond for me and everyone
who comes into their gym!! If you want to become a better player and person HOOPS is where you need to be!!"