Athlete of the week: Sean Mullan

Sean Mullan, senior management major, is in his last season of playing forward and guard for the Sharks basketball team. He began playing when he was 11 years old, after his parents encouraged him to always try something new. Since he was already playing other sports, basketball seemed like the way to go.

The Wollongong, Australia native has experienced more than most players in his basketball career. He has played on several different Australian national teams, including the gold-medal winning team at the Oceania Championships in Saipan in 2009. Mullan also won a national championship when he played for the New South Wales Institute of Sport team. He also played for the Australian U-17 team, leading them to a second place finish at the 2006 FIBA Oceania Youth Basketball Tournament in New Zealand.

Mullan began his collegiate career in the Ivy League, at the University of Pennsylvania. During his career at UPenn, he did not get much playing time, playing in 12 games for 30 minutes total. He scored his first collegiate points in a game against Harvard University. After two years, he decided to leave UPenn and look elsewhere.

Once Mullan began his career at NSU, he played phenomenally. At the end of his junior year, he had played in 26 games and started 16 of those. He averaged 5.4 points per game and made the third most three-pointers on the team, with a season total of 22. Mullan’s season best game last year was in a crucial home win over Rollins College, when he scored 19 points, helping the Sharks secure the sixth seed in the Sunshine State Conference.


I sat down with Mullan and asked him a few questions:


When and why did you start to play basketball?

I started playing basketball pretty late, when I was 11. I was just kind of a jack-of-all-trades and played as many sports as I could going through high school, but basketball seemed to click. Soccer, rugby, cricket, basketball. Mom and dad are really into active lives. With a family full of children, you have to get us out of the house sometimes.


What is the biggest accomplishment in your career?

I was named captain of the Australian U-17 national team. I remember playing the Oceania youth tournament in New Zealand.


What is your favorite memory of your career?

Winning the national championship with New South Wales.


Why did you choose to come to NSU?

The people and the team here. I started at the University of Pennsylvania; I was there for two years. They had a coaching change and the team got revamped. Seven new kids came in, so it was time for me and four others of my teammates to get out of there.


Who is your favorite athlete?

Muhammad Ali. I’m from an Irish Catholic family, so the family is split into Tyson lovers and  Ali lovers. There is a lot of boxing in the family. I think if you could talk a whole lot of trash in a full-contact sport and get away with it, it’s pretty impressive.


If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Definitely fly. I thought I was Peter Pan as a kid.


If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?

Quentin Tarantino because he always gives himself little cameo acts.

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