Patrick Cartier shoots a free throw during his award-winning sophomore season
Anthony Lupi | Collegian

Over the summer, now junior forward Patrick Cartier made history for the men’s bas­ketball team once again when he was awarded the G‑MAC Male Athlete of the Year Award. 

Every year, the G‑MAC gives the Athlete of the Year Award to one male and one female athlete in the con­ference to rec­ognize the most accom­plished player in their gender during the last year. 

Cartier became the first male Charger to win the award in the program’s four years in the con­ference. He is also the first men’s bas­ketball player to win the award in its nine-year history.

“It’s a big accom­plishment for him to receive that award, and for the league to rec­ognize his per­for­mance last year,” Head coach John Tharp said. “He was a main reason why we got to the sweet 16 last year, the sta­tistics he put up last year as far as scoring and field goal per­centage were really incredible, the whole program’s proud of his award.” 

He led the G‑MAC in scoring with 20.5 points per game and field goal per­centage with 65.1%. In fact, his career per­centage from the field, sitting at 64.7%, is the best in program history by more than three percent. Cartier also became the first Division II con­sensus All-American in Hillsdale history.

“It’s always a refection of how the coaches have put their trust in me, and the culture that coach Tharp has built through the assistant coaches on down to the players,” Cartier said. “It also says a lot about my team­mates, how they’ve trusted me has had a huge part in my success this past year.”

Cartier’s team­mates reflected his sen­ti­ments. Senior forward Peter Kalthoff called the team a family, who all owe their success to each other.

“I think we have a really good strong team culture and every one of us loves to support Pat, there’s no self­ishness,” Kalthoff said. “It’s all about what it takes to win and playing your role, some­times the role is being the player of the year, some­times the role is just sup­porting the player of the year. It’s all about what makes the one fist work, five players working as one.”

As the first sophomore to win the award, which has tra­di­tionally gone to grad­u­ating seniors, Cartier hopes to add more to his game in the coming years.

“Some­thing I’m trying to focus on is a little bit more of a mid-post jumper, playing more out of the mid-post,” Cartier said. “Also just keep expanding my range to the three-point line, keep gaining con­fi­dence out there, and also taking a step in my passing ability. Taking notes from guys like Yarian, Tavon, Connor or Davis, to hope­fully dish it out to some of those guys who’ll be my team­mates this year.”

Cartier’s success extended into the classroom as well, where he was named to the College Sports Infor­mation Directors of America Aca­demic All-Dis­trict team. Not only that, but the National Asso­ci­ation of Bas­ketball Coaches awarded the men’s bas­ketball team the Team Aca­demic Excel­lence Award for the third straight season.

“For the coaches, it’s an important part of their recruitment, this isn’t a public uni­versity where they just recruit the best ath­letes they can find, they recruit people who can achieve excel­lence in the classroom,” Kalthoff said. “It’s part of the culture too, a lot of us came here of course to play bas­ketball, but also everybody under­stands that we’re getting a great edu­cation here, and I think that we’ve just found a way to weave it into our program.”