Hartford, Conn. – “It’s tough because every year you have to come back and fight for the same position that you had the year before and know you can play well in,” said Trinity College men’s squash senior Nku Patrick (San Fernando, Trinidad). “But coming from the Caribbean where it’s smaller and squash isn’t as big, I’m playing for everyone back home who may look up to me. It keeps me grounded and focused every single time I step on the court.”
For Patrick, a native of San Fernando, Trinidad, the challenge of retaining a starting spot for the Bantams is something he relishes. The senior has enjoyed a successful four-year career on the squash courts, compiling a 38-4 career record, the second-most wins of any Bantam on the roster. His journey to Hartford and his time in a Bantam uniform has seen plenty of success, but is not without a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Year in and year out, he must win a starting spot to try and help the squad return to the Potter Trophy championship. His work ethic, leadership – and contagious smile – help make his story a successful one.
“He’s been a real delight to have in the program and it has been really neat watching him grow up,” says Head Coach Paul Assaiante (24th season). “He’s a feel-good story.”
Patrick came to the United States from Trinidad, having enjoyed a successful career on the individual circuit as well as representing his country. He came to Trinity thanks in part to Men’s Squash Assistant Coach Chris Binnie, who also hails from the Caribbean, as well as his older brother, Mandela, who took his talents to Harvard.
“Our assistant coach is from Jamaica and my brother had just applied to college, so I had a feeling that I would apply to college in the United States too,” says Patrick. “I saw Binnie at the Pan-American games in Mexico and he asked me if I was going to apply to college or not. A month later, the process started and I eventually ended up here.”
As fate would have it, the brothers squared off in a January 2016 match that pitted the top-ranked Bantams versus the No. 3-ranked Crimson. Nku came out on top with a 3-0 victory in the No. 9 spot. “My brother is a tall talker,” laughs Nku. “Every time we’ve played, he will call me two weeks before and talk trash. I always talk trash back. But once we’re on the court, it’s brotherly competition. It’s always great to have that competitive fun within family.”