Patterson to conduct youth camp
HUNTINGTON -- It has been quite some time since Sacramento Kings power forward Patrick Patterson has walked into the gym at Huntington High School.
That will all change Aug. 1-3 when Patterson returns to the school he led to three consecutive Class AAA state championships to conduct the Patrick Patterson Basketball Camp for young players hoping to follow in his footsteps.
"Personally, it means a lot more doing it here than anywhere else because this is the place I was raised," Patterson said. "To finally have given myself an opportunity to come back to Huntington and most importantly, have a camp, it's definitely a great feeling and I'm humbled by it.
"Not only am I excited to do it, I feel like there's more and more to do. I hope we have a great turnout, but I just want to enjoy giving back to the community and showing kids that if I can make it, they can make it, too."
The three-day camp will feature players ranging from ages 7-16 with the camp being broken down into two groups: the early session from 9 a.m. to noon for ages 7-10 and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for ages 11-16.
The focus on the camp will be fundamentals with Patterson and the other staffers breaking down each aspect of the game through station work and teaching.
One of those staffers will be Brandon Hutchison, Patterson's best friend and former Huntington High teammate who helped found Camp One, which is based out of Lexington, Ky.
Hutchison credited Patterson for helping him get this business venture off the ground and said it's been a lot of fun being able to share in the game they both love.
" When I was with Pat in the time he was transitioning to the league from college, I was able to meet some people who became mentors to me," Hutchison said. "The timing was right for myself and my partners to come together with the connections I had met through Pat to start events like this and hopefully, replicate it countrywide.
"I consider Pat to be family and it's easy for us from a business sense to pass things back and forth and get opinions on things. I know they say family can't work together, but we seem to get along just fine."
The two have been friends since they were 10-years-old and playing in the Huntington YMCA leagues and that friendship grew during their time at Huntington High where the Highlanders won three consecutive. They had spoken of their basketball dreams on several occasions as young kids growing up.
With Huntington having such a rich tradition in basketball, both said the goal was to provide more avenues for talented players to improve early and continue the trend of players from the Tri-State making big impacts on the national level.
Hutchison said the effect of having Patterson come back will help in the sports realm, but also features a much-bigger effect for the state.
"Just over the river, Kentucky is known as a basketball state, Ohio is known as a football state, but I'm not sure West Virginia really has an identity," Hutchison said. "We're lucky to have someone like Pat -- a guy who is not only a great athlete, but also someone you can count on character-wise -- to set a great example for the state of West Virginia and show young kids how to be high-character people."
Patterson added that his ambitions for the area in which he grew up aren't limited to just the basketball side of life.
"We want to push them in any way possible to fulfill their dreams, whether its in sports or anything else," Patterson said. "We want to show them that through hard work and concentration, you can achieve your goals."
Cost for the camp is $175 for the three days and features include fundamental drills at various stations, fun events that promote competition and 5-on-5 or 3-on-3 games near the end of the day.
In addition to the instruction, campers will receive an exclusive "Camp One" T-shirt, an autographed team photo with Patterson and fellow campers and chances for unique prizes and gifts through contests during the week.
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