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54 Patrick Patterson

Patrick Patterson
Hometown (Last School)
Huntington, WV (High)
2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10
March 14, 1989

Patrick Patterson was born Patrick Davell Patterson on March 14, 1989 in Washington, D.C. to Tywanna and Buster Patterson Jr.  He grew up in Huntington, West Virginia and graduated from Huntington High School in 2007. During his high school career, Patterson helped lead Huntington High School to three-straight state championships. Considered a five-star recruit, Patterson was listed as the No. 3 power forward and the No. 17 player in the nation in 2007 and was named a McDonald’s All-American.  He was also West Virginia’s Mr. Basketball and Gatorade’s Player of the Year for West Virginia

In a highly publicized recruiting battle, on May 17, 2007, he signed to play for Kentucky over Duke, Florida, Virginia, Wake Forest and West Virginia.  He was recruited by Kentucky coach Tubby Smith and his replacement Billy Gillispie.  In the 2009–10 season he played for John Calipari who became Billy Gillispie’s replacement in April 2009.

“Tubby Smith was the first person to recruit me from the University of Kentucky,” Patterson said.  “Making trips, seeing me in high school, coming to my home, introducing me to his wife and taking me around campus so it started with him. He took the reins from the get-go and unfortunately he was no longer there.”

“Billy Gillispie came and picked up where he left off,” Patterson said. “Although Tubby had left I still felt a strong connection with Billy Gillispie and a strong belief in what he envisioned for myself and the program. I believed in him and everything they were telling me.”

To Patterson, Kentucky was still Kentucky.

“First and foremost, just the accolades and the accomplishments and Kentucky being in my eyes the cream of the crop, the top of the mountain, the best university as far as college basketball goes so that right there just drew me in initially,” Patterson said. “And the guys that I had met I seem to click with and enjoyed the chemistry. It was close to home and so it seemed like the fit.”

To make it even sweeter for UK fans, Patterson also famously rebuffed Duke during the recruiting process.

“It’s nothing against those guys, they were great guys,” Patterson said. “There’s just some guys in your life that you click with, some individuals you enjoy being around more so than others and for me I just enjoyed being around the guys at Kentucky more so than Duke.”

During Patterson’s freshman All-American 2007–08 season, he averaged 16.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals, while shooting 57% from the field. After a Kentucky victory over the Ole Miss Rebels in February, Patterson missed the remainder of the 2007–08 season with a stress fracture in his left ankle. Patterson said, “I woke Tuesday morning and had some pain in my left ankle. It was on the inside, right on the tip of my bone. I reported it right away to the trainer and told Coach in practice. We treated it like a regular ankle injury. It started feeling better progressively and so I played in the (Ole Miss) game, but it started to hurt more towards the end. So when I woke up this morning we decided to get it x-rayed. We then found out I had a stress fracture. I was shocked. They told me I had to wear a cast for six to eight weeks. I started crying when I found out I couldn’t play for the rest of the remaining season. I was disappointed when I had to tell my teammates and my coach.”  Despite the injury, he was named the SEC Coaches’ Co-Freshman of the Year as well as being named a second team All-SEC performer by the coaches and the Associated Press.  He chose to stay at Kentucky rather than participating in the NBA draft.

During his sophomore season, he and teammate Jodie Meeks became one of the most successful duos ever, and also became the most productive duo at Kentucky since the days of Dan Issel and Mike Pratt. Patterson scored a career-high 33 points on December 22, 2008, against the Tennessee State Tigers. For the season, he averaged 17.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 0.6 steals, while shooting 60% from the field. He was named First-Team All-SEC by the SEC Coaches and NABC Second Team All-District.  He started and played in 33 games, missing two due to injury.  At that time he ranked 56th on UK’s career scoring list with 1,020 points and was the only SEC player to rank in the top-5 in scoring and rebounding at 17.9 ppg and 9.3 rpg.  He led the SEC with 15 double-doubles.  He was the first Wildcat with four straight double-doubles since Reggie Hanson in 1989 and became the 10th fastest player to reach UK’s 1,000-point club in 58 games.  On April 18, 2009, Patterson decided to enter his name into the 2009 NBA draft. However, on May 8, 2009, Patrick decided he would return to Kentucky for his third season.  The Huntington, W. Va., native said he had three reasons for returning to UK.

“I have the chance to graduate in three years, which is important to me and my family,” Patterson said. “I want to help Kentucky compete for a national title, and even more than that win its eighth national championship. I’m also really excited about playing for Coach Cal and developing my game in the dribble drive offense.”

As a junior, Patrick Patterson joined the nation’s elite after being named a first-team preseason Associated Press All-American.  The 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward, was named to the first team along with Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), Kyle Singler (Duke), Cole Aldrich (Kansas) and Sherron Collins (Kansas).  Patterson picked up 35 votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Patterson continued to play a crucial role for the team during his junior season and was the unquestioned leader on the team. However, with the addition of freshman players John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe, Patterson was no longer required to be the main option for scoring and rebounding. Despite the drop in statistics, Patterson felt it was his best season yet.  He improved his outside shot, shooting about 35% from the 3-point line all season (compared to no 3-pointers made in the previous seasons). Patterson evolved from a somewhat raw 6-foot-9 talent who never ventured too far from the basket into a polished forward who could knock down a 3-pointer and lock down decidedly quicker players on defense.  During this season, Patterson helped the team win the SEC Tournament and achieve a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. Kentucky’s 35 wins that season were five fewer than the Wildcats won in Patterson’s first two years combined. He averaged 14.3 points and 7.4 rebounds as the Wildcats went 35-3 and tore through the Southeastern Conference on their way to both the regular season and conference tournament titles.  Kentucky came up just short of reaching the Final Four. The Wildcats were upset by West Virginia in the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament, a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Patterson.

On April 23, 2010, Patterson entered the 2010 NBA draft; by the time of the draft, he had completed his coursework and earned a degree from UK.  Patterson finished his college career averaging 16.1 points and 8.2 rebounds on 59-percent shooting.  He amassed 1,564 points (13th on Kentucky’s all-time scoring list) and snagged 791 rebounds in three seasons.  

Asked what he hoped people at Kentucky will remember him by, Patterson described the ultimate basketball star.

”Somebody who wore the jersey with pride,” Patterson said. “A great ambassador for the university, somebody who worked hard on and off the court; accomplished things on the court (by) winning an SEC championship; off the court, getting his degree and someone who pretty much put everyone else before himself. He put his teammates before himself and also he was just a hard worker. He did things for the university. He went around with a smile on his face. He never turned down an autograph or a picture. He was always there for the fans and the fans were always there for him.”

Patterson was all those things. From the coaching change, to the new faces, to the injury in 2008, to the NIT and even a No. 1 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, Patterson has experienced it all. “I definitely feel like a veteran,” Patterson said. “I feel like this is my fifth year here at Kentucky. I’ve been through so much.”

In the end, Patterson will go down as one of the most revered players in Kentucky basketball history. He didn’t win a national championship but Patrick Patterson leaves Kentucky as one of the most important players to ever put on a Kentucky uniform. 

”Finally, to be a part of history and part of a team that got Kentucky back to its rightful place among the elite programs across the nation, I definitely think that I was a part of the progression of getting Kentucky back to the true spot, to the true top point where it needs to be and where it should be,” Patterson said.

Patterson did what he promised he would do when he arrived: put Kentucky back on the map.  His work was finally done. It was his time to go.

On June 24, 2010, Patterson was selected in the NBA draft by the Houston Rockets with the fourteenth overall pick. He was among the record five University of Kentucky players selected in the first round. His varied college experience, from low-post anchor as freshman and sophomore to complementary perimeter player as a junior showcased a selfless versatility.  “It put me at an advantage,” Patterson said, “because I can adapt well.”  On November 10, he was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League to work on his rebounding and defense.  In nine games with the Vipers, Patterson averaged 35 minutes, 18.3 points, and 10.3 rebounds.  Two days after being recalled by the Rockets, he made his NBA regular season debut on December 15, 2010.  With Luis Scola injured, Patterson had his first NBA start with the Rockets on March 14, 2011, scoring 2 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.  After the Rockets used the amnesty clause to waive Scola, Patterson became the starting power forward for the 2012-13 season.

Patterson was a member of the Toronto Raptors from 2013 to 2017. He met his wife, Sarah Nasser, while playing for the Raptors.  They were married in August 2019 at Casa Loma, a gothic palace near Toronto.  They have one daughter.

His NBA career spanned 11 years, ending in 2021, after he was waived by the Portland Trail Blazers.

On October 19, 2021, Patterson and Joel Reilly launched Undisputed Pictures, a film company.

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