Casey's Patterson signs with Pikeville

June 20, 2004|JILL ERWIN

LIBERTY - Beth Patterson had limited her college choices down to two prospective schools before a new school entered the picture.

Just about a month later, that school got a commitment from Patterson.

The Casey County senior signed a scholarship Friday to play basketball for Pikeville College. The Bears beat out Cumberland and Union, her first two choices.

"The coach at Pikeville (Bill Watson) told me he had been talking to another coach, telling him what he needed this year and what he wanted them to come in and do," Patterson said. "They watched some game tape, and when they offered me a full scholarship, of course I was going to check it out."

Patterson, a 5-11 forward, was the only non-guard voted to The Advocate-Messenger All-Area first team this year. She averaged 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds while hitting 52.7 percent of her shots.


She is also a two-time state champion in track, having captured the triple jump title in both her sophomore and junior years. Cumberland was the only school of the three interested in her for track, but Patterson said walking away from that sport won't be as hard as she feared.

"If I would have had a better year, it probably would have been hard to give it up," Patterson said. "But I had a bad year and I'm ready to get out of it."

Watson told Patterson that her back-to-the-basket style of play at Casey probably wouldn't fly at Pikeville, which has four girls on its roster measuring at least 6-0 tall.

"He tried to explain that to me, how I'm going to have to change quite a bit," Patterson said. "I'm going to have to play forward or something like that. I'll just have to learn how to do it.

"He explained to me that I probably wouldn't be starting my freshman year, but that coming in I would probably be the sixth or seventh player. If I work hard and improve myself, I could have a starting position by next year, so that's my goal, to get a starting position by my sophomore year."

Patterson said Pikeville is even smaller than Liberty, and that helped make her feel comfortable on her visit.

"It's probably the only place I could go and not get lost," Patterson said. "Their whole school is just like five buildings, and they're all right there together.

"I'm really a mama's girl, so it would be hard anywhere I go, but they said they'd come down there to visit. With it being a small town and with basketball, I'm probably not going to have that much free time anyway."

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