Athlete of the Week: Inkera Patterson, Girls' Varsity Basketball

Feb. 3, 2010, 1:28 p.m. | By Mandy Xu | 14 years, 4 months ago

Senior captain Inkera Patterson leads the Lady Blazer varsity basketball team with quiet strength and swift movement. Photo courtesy of Inkera Patterson.

Senior point guard Inkera Patterson eagerly crouches in anticipation for the sound of the whistle. Her heart races as she focuses on the opponents around her. The shrill ring of the whistle shatters the tense silence and she springs into motion, gliding across the court with the ball. Within seconds, she has scanned the court for an open teammate and swiftly passes the ball to score a basket.

While Patterson now plays on a high school basketball team, she first became interested in the sport as a recreational past time. She started playing basketball with friends in her neighborhood when she was in third grade. "I just went to the playground because I liked to play," she says. She continued playing basketball without joining a club or organization for a few years, but in seventh and eighth grade Patterson became more serious about the sport. "I went to Takoma Park Middle School and played on the team," she says.

As soon as she became a Blazer, Patterson tried out for the junior varsity girls' basketball team. Patterson became a point guard because of her agility and speed. "She has always been fast and quick since middle school," junior co-captain Janet Henkai says.

Senior Inkera Patterson lays up a shot in the first quarter.  Photo courtesy of Lorena Kowalewski.

Varsity girls' basketball coach Erin Conley chose Patterson as captain because of her strong leadership. "She really cares about the team and is a quiet leader," she says. "Everybody looks up to her." Patterson's ability to make quick decisions on court is also notable. "I think her court vision is very good," Conley says. "She sees the open lanes and the open passes." Henkai agrees. "[Inkera's strength is] definitely her vision. The way she sees her court and her man is great."

Patterson wants to continue with basketball in college and is interested in pursuing a professional basketball career. "I want to play and if I can get that far, it would be great," she says. She is currently hoping to receive financial aid for college based on her basketball skills.

Patterson admits that it took a lot of hard work to reach her current level of talent, but Conley has faith in Patterson's bright future with basketball. "I think she's having the best season yet and she still has room to grow," she says. "Her best games are yet to come."

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