Before 15-year-old Ayanna Patterson stepped onto the court for her first practice as a freshman at Homestead high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, college coaches around the country knew she was going to be special.
Now, as her team heads into its regional matchup this weekend, it’s easy to see why.
The 6-foot-3 freshman has averaged 12.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game, leading her team to a top-five ranking in Class 4A and already separating herself as one of the best basketball players in the state. She’s recorded six double-doubles this season and hit a career-high 28 points in their regular season finale, too.
Ayanna can already dunk, too, and has done it in practice.
“I told her it doesn’t count unless you dunk on somebody,” her father, Andre Patterson, told the Indianapolis Star.
Currently, she holds scholarship offers from at least 13 different Division I programs, including Tennessee, South Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida and Louisville, among others. Ayanna received her first offer, from Indiana, when she was 13. She also has high interest from Notre Dame, even though they don’t typically offer scholarships this early, per the report.
Her family has a rich basketball history, too. Andre played at New Mexico State from 1983-85 and then professionally for the CBA’s Fort Wayne Fury. Her older brother, Andre Patterson Jr., played two seasons at UCLA and at Tennessee in college.
“She is a lot more self-motivated than her brother was,” Andre told the Star. “Her work ethic is off the charts. She’s always asking me, ‘Can we go to the gym and shoot? I need to get up some shots.’ And I’m happy to just chase the balls around. I don’t have to be the one trying to force her to do it.”
Her coach, Rod Parker, said he’s not sure where her ceiling is as a player, but that he knows her confidence will only improve over time. After all, she still has three years left before she hits the collegiate level.
“She is very down to earth, very humble,” Parker told the Star. “To be honest, I’m not sure I should say ‘to a fault’ but almost to a fault. As she develops in her career, I think one of the things that will develop is a little bit of swagger and aura about herself. She is very confident internally and as she goes about her business to become one of the elite players in the state, she will just become more and more confident.”
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