Catching up with Patrick Patterson

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- He's been a big basketball star in Huntington, Lexington and beyond.

Patrick Patterson had star potential when he was just a youngster.

Now that he's finished up his rookie season in the NBA, Patterson seems likely to be firmly entrenched in the league for a long time to come.

It was easy to spot at the old 6th Avenue in Huntington. Patrick had "it" even back then.

He progressed trough the dream team at Huntington High School, then onto a stellar career at the University of Kentucky.

He's not about to stop now.

His basketball resume was almost impeccable: a member of the Huntington High dream team, a McDonalds All-American, and All-American career at UK and a first round draft pick.

But Patrick Patterson's first season in the NBA wasn't exactly what he dreamed of. Early in the season he was sent down to the developmental league.

He only knew one was to get back up to the Rockets: to work his way back up.

"I had a bunch of guidance on that team," Patterson said. "Whenever I got sad or angry that I wasn't playing they were there to pick me up, telling me to keep working hard -- not every rookie plays their first year.

As the season progressed in Houston, Patrick's liftoff became more apparent. His work ethic turned into playing time.

"Whenever the coach sees you're the first one in and the last one out -- that'll leave a lasting impression," Patterson said. "So that's what I try to do. Work hard every single day and provide the most energy. Just do whatever I could to prove to the coaches I'm here to stay and I want to play."

He finished the season averaging almost seven points per game and even started some for the Rockets. At this level of basketball, you work to get better, or you sit and watch.

"The talent just blows your mind." Patterson said. "I've got to pinch myself to remember that I came from Huntington. Just a kid who never knew I'd be playing ball until the opportunities started to present themselves and I finally made it."

Patterson's in Huntington visiting for a couple of days before he takes off again. He's staying in shape -- and hoping for a quick net to the NBA lockout.

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