If you've followed Notre Dame athletics whatsoever in recent years, then you know Pat Connaughton. A two sport athlete (basketball and baseball) while in South Bend, he became a true ambassador for the athletic department. On the court, Pat helped lead Notre Dame men's basketball to an ACC tournament title and an Elite Eight birth. On the mound, he dominated opposing batters with a mid 90s fastball and a competitive spirit that has propelled him to both the NBA and MLB minor leagues. A shooting guard for the Portland Trailblazers, and a starting pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization, Connaughton has a busier schedule than most 23 year-olds. But this hasn't stopped him from giving back to the community that helped get him to where he is today.
A few months ago, Pat officially launched the "With Us" foundation, a not-for-profit which aims to help the lesser fortunate have access to resources and experiences that they might not otherwise have. Fresh off a stellar stint in the NBA Summer League in which he averaged 14 points per game highlighted by a deep, game winning three against the Utah Jazz, I was lucky enough to talk with Pat about his new project.
Phil Mosey: What would you say is the mission for the "With Us" foundation?
Pat Connaughton: "With Us" is dedicated to helping those less fortunate, especially kids, in the areas of personal development, education, and medical research. Our goal is to provide people with experiences that they wouldn't otherwise have the chance to take part in. Whether it's through scholarships or programs run through the foundation, I'm hoping that people will be able to say that their experiences and time spent with us helped shape a portion of their life that wouldn't have been shaped otherise, our slogan being "With Us, you can make a difference."
PM: How do you and your team at "With Us" plan on reaching these goals?
PC: I believe that as we are able to share the goals of "With Us" to those in the Notre Dame community and beyond, people will be able to not only see the vision but the work we have been able to do as time goes on. That will hopefully spark a sense of togetherness for them to want to donate and know they are truly making a difference in someone's life. "With Us" is still in its beginning stages and I'm hoping in the next few months we are able to launch one or two campaigns to really help grow not only the awareness but the endowment of the foundation as well so we can start to make that difference we're talking about.
Weekend shenanigans.. #Eighty #NFLDraft2017? @Patriots pic.twitter.com/skxtB93vny— Pat Connaughton (@PlanetPat5) June 26, 2016