Adelaide, South Australia
major: accounting '17
Why Mount Marty?
A native of Adelaide, South Australia, Patrick Ciganovic dreamed of playing college basketball — a dream he knew would take him far from home. Because Australia doesn’t have college sports (athletes who wish to play competitively after high school have to work their way up through the professional ranks), he began emailing different colleges about their basketball programs during his senior year of high school.
“Fortunately, one who got back to me was Mount Marty,” Ciganovic says. “Jim Thorson and Jill Paulson were instrumental. I made a good connection with them and thought it could be a place where I could succeed with basketball and academically.”
Ciganovic has spent the past four years playing for the MMC Lancer’s Men’s Basketball team. On May 13, he’ll graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from MMC, and shortly after, he’ll return to Australia, where he’ll begin his professional basketball career with the Gladstone Port City Power, part of the Queensland Basketball League.
“U.S. college offered a pathway for me to further pursue basketball and have a life-changing cultural experience,” says the 6’6” forward, who totaled 642 points and 555 rebounds at MMC, with an average 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game during his senior season. “Playing for Gladstone Port City Power is another opportunity to see a different part of the world, much like it has helped me for my four years in the U.S.”
Mount Marty’s Impact
MMC’s small size allows for more focused attention from faculty, and as an accounting major, Ciganovic says all three of his business professors have done their part in helping him prepare for work life after college.
“Professor Sejnoha helped me to understand the concepts of American accounting, which differ slightly from those in Australia,” he says. “Professor Hofer mentored me on what it takes to become a CPA and helped me get into an accounting internship in town. Professor Gross is my investment guru and has helped me begin my share portfolio whilst still in college.”
The MMC Values
As an international student, Ciganovic was keenly aware of the importance of community on campus, and basketball provided ample opportunity to form close bonds with teammates over the course of a season. But that welcoming atmosphere extended off the roster, too. In fact, Ciganovic says it’s something he’s felt throughout the MMC community.
“If you ask anyone on campus why they like the college, their response will either be the community or how hospitable everyone is,” he says. “I have had a number of families and friends help me out whilst here, but I couldn’t go past the Hegge family. They made my transition as easy as possible, giving me a home away from home when I am 15,000 miles away from my actual home.”
It’s a spirit of generosity Ciganovic hopes to continue.
“After moving away from everything, I know how hard it can be,” he says. “I now hope to be able to provide similar support to others in the future as I was lucky enough to receive over my time here.”